Dr. Paul Oh is Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program and a Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. A leading expert on the role of exercise in rehabilitation, he has studied exercise interventions in a variety of patient populations. Current research focuses on how exercise affects cardiovascular health and on ways of optimizing exercise interventions. Dr. Oh has received numerous awards for teaching and research and is the author of many peer-reviewed papers.
Dr. Oh is an advocate of the power of exercise as medicine. He sees the benefits of it every day through his work at Toronto Rehab’s Cardiac Rumsey Centre. “Simply put, exercise is as powerful a therapy as anything we can offer,” he says. The statistics are strong: participation in cardiac rehabilitation programs, which emphasize exercise, can lower chances of dying from a future cardiac event by about 50 per cent.
In his research, Dr. Oh focuses on identifying ways to make cardiac rehab even more effective for people who are recovering from various forms of heart disease and/or surgery. He has found that the right volume and intensity of exercise are important to maximize gains in function, minimize risk factors and ultimately change cardiovascular health. “We know exercise promotes heart health,” he says. “Now we are refining what we do by looking at the effect of exercise on cardiovascular health and risk factors. We are also studying ways of optimizing interventions – different doses, different intensities and different ways of delivering the exercise.”
Core components of Toronto Rehab’s year-long outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program, which is the largest of its kind in North America, include aerobic exercise, resistance training, and education. “People with heart disease can become fitter and function better than they have in years,” says Dr. Oh.
Dr. Oh is also working to extend the successful model of cardiac rehabilitation to other at-risk populations. One major focus has been people with diabetes. Adults with diabetes are at a high risk of cardiovascular disease.
“We found that in people with diabetes, structured exercise improved fitness levels, blood sugar control and cholesterol values, while body weight and body fat went down,” he says. “Now we’re looking at optimal modes of delivery, and exploring other physiologic effects of exercise.”
Industry Expertise (5)
Areas of Expertise (9)
University of Toronto: MD, Medicine 1988
- Sunnybrook Hospital, Department of Medicine : Staff Physician
Media Appearances (4)
Getting active in middle age is possible – and important
The Globe and Mail print
Breaking out of a sedentary lifestyle is critical to good health. “This can be an even more challenging feat for those of us in our middle years (anywhere from age 40 to 60), who can be pretty set in our ways,” says Dr. Paul Oh, medical director and GoodLife chair of the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program at the University Health Network. Dr. Oh adds that the importance of getting active in your middle years cannot be understated, for both preventive and rehabilitative purposes.
Toronto Rehab and Partners Aim to Prevent Chronic Disease
Toronto Rehab is leading a multi-province partnership to examine how Canadians can prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Dr. Paul Oh, Medical Director, Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program, and three other rehab partners from Quebec, Nova Scotia and B.C. have received $2.4 million in funding from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and Health Canada to launch ACCELERATION – an activity, smoking cessation, healthy eating, alcohol intervention and motivation program aimed at chronic disease prevention...
Study finds that participation in cardiac rehab programs can result in huge gains for recovery in stroke patients
Heart & Stroke Foundation online
Stroke patients who participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program for six months make rapid gains in how far and fast they can walk, the use of weakened limbs and their ability to sit and stand, according to a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress. On average, participants saw a 21-per-cent improvement in the strength and range of motion of weakened limbs; a 19-per-cent improvement in walking speed; and a 16-per-cent improvement in the distance they could walk...
More doctors are including exercise as part of treatment. The CBC's Kelly Crowe reports...
Event Appearances (2)
UHN's Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation
CACPR Annual Meeting and Symposium Vancouver, BC.
Translating Experience and Expertise from Rehab to Prevention - a Pan-Canadian Initiative
CACPR Annual Meeting and Symposium Vancouver, BC.
Despite recommendations in clinical practice guidelines, evidence suggests that utilization of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) following indicated cardiac events is low. Referral strategies, such as automatic referral, have been advocated to improve CR utilization. In ...
The magnitude and mechanisms of survival benefit associated with cardiac rehabilitation services among real-world populations within a universal health care system remain unclear. Methods This retrospective matched cohort study compared the long-term ...
To determine the costs associated with the management of hospitalized patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and to estimate the economic burden associated with MRSA in Canadian hospitals. DESIGN. Patient-specific ...
Neuroleptics are commonly used to treat behavioral disorders associated with dementia. However, their safety and efficacy have not been well established in these patients. METHOD: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled (either placebo or active ...
Patients receiving drug therapy for hypertension in the tertiary care setting frequently exhibit higher office readings compared to ambulatory blood pressure values (white coat effect). In this study, the prevalence of a white coat effect was determined in an ...