- Cardiac rehabilitation programs have the potential to decrease morbidity and mortality and increase quality of life after acute coronary events and coronary bypass surgery (CABG). Unfortunately, the proportion of eligible patients that participate in cardiac rehabilitation remains low, despite coverage of such programs by the Israeli National Health Insurance. A low participation rate is especially prominent in women, elderly, minorities and low socioeconomic classes. In this edition of Harefuah, Gendler et at conducted an interventional study aimed at increasing the participation of patients in cardiac rehabilitation programs after CABG in 5 cardiothoracic wards across Israel. They interviewed 489 patients in the intervention arm and 472 patients in the control arm before surgery and a year later. The intervention included dissemination of information on cardiac rehabilitation to the medical staff and patients. Following the intervention, cardiac rehabilitation increased almost twofold in veteran-Israeli males and females. Although it increased significantly in USSR-born male immigrants, their absolute rate of participation remained low (13.6%). No USSR-born female participated in rehabilitation, either before or after the intervention. The good news is that a simple, inexpensive intervention can increase participation in cardiac rehabilitation after CABG surgery. The bad news is that this potentially lifesaving activity remains unattended by most USSR-born immigrants, and particularly by females. Additional research is required to explore the cultural, social and economic barriers of this phenomenon.