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Sherry Grace - York University. Toronto, ON, CA

Sherry Grace

Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Science | York University

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Studying access to chronic cardiac care, as well as optimizing quantity and quality of life in heart patients.





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Sherry L. Grace, PhD, FCCS, CRFC holds her primary appointment as Full Professor in the Faculty of Health at York University. She is also appointed at the University Health Network, University of Toronto, as Sr. Scientist with Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s Cardiovascular Rehabilitation & Prevention Program, and is Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation Research with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

Prof. Grace’s research centers on optimizing post-acute cardiovascular care globally, as well as cardiac psychology. She has published over 225 papers, and authored clinical practice guidelines. She led the development of the pan-Canadian quality indicators for cardiac rehabilitation, as well as national policy positions on systematic referral and utilization interventions.

Prof. Grace has earned awards from the American and Canadian Associations of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation, among other societies. Finally, she was instrumental in the development of the International Council on Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, serving on the Executive Board since inception.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (5)


Public Health

Clinical Research

Heart Disease

Behavioural Cardiology

Education (2)

University of Windsor: Ph.D., Psychology

University of Waterloo: B.A., Psychology

Affiliations (5)

  • Senior Scientist, University Health Network
  • Director of Research, Cardiovascular Rehabilitation & Prevention Program, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network
  • Member, Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University
  • Member, Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence, University of Toronto
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Languages (2)

  • English
  • French

Media Appearances (11)

International experts publish guidelines for cardiac rehab in developing countries



"All heart patients should be referred to cardiac rehab," says York U Professor Sherry Grace. "We see in countries like India and China, young cardiac patients die at incredible rates. This is because so few programs are set up in these developing countries."...

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Fewer women than men finish rehab after heart attack, study finds

Vancouver Sun  


The main report published online Wednesday is an analysis of 14 existing studies on rehabilitation rates among 8,176 cardiac patients, 2,234 of whom were female. Sherry Grace, lead author from Toronto’s University Health Network, found that about two-thirds of all participants followed up with a four-month program of exercise and counselling, although fewer women did so...

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Reduced anxiety and depression for women participating in women-only cardiac rehab

Science Newsline Medicine  online


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women globally. Women who have an acute coronary heart event may be more likely to die or to suffer complications during the initial recovery period than men, but are less likely to make use of cardiac rehabilitation programs. Although all models of cardiac rehab significantly improve heart health, investigators found that participating in women-only cardiac rehab resulted in significantly lower symptoms of anxiety and depression and improvements in diet. Their findings are published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

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Cardiac rehabilitation

Heart Online China  online


Cardiac rehabilitation

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Study: Cardiac rehabilitation programs underused for cardiac care

Physical Therapy Products  


According to a recent review, cardiac rehabilitation is largely underused for cardiac care, especially compared with costly revascularization and medical therapy. York University professor Sherry Grace, PhD, along with Karam Turk-Adawi , PhD, and Nizal Sarrafzadegan, MD, conducted a review and found that while 68% of high-income countries have cardiac rehabilitation, only 23% of low-income and middle-income countries do, despite the fact that 80% of deaths from heart disease occur in these countries, as indicated on a news release from York University...

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Keeping your heart strong and healthy!

Breakfast Television  tv


Dr. Sherry Grace from the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is here to tell us the warning signs of heart attacks for men and women and how to keep your heart healthy

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A broken heart is a real medical condition

CTV Your Morning  tv


Speaking about "broken heart syndrome" with Ben Mulroney.

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640 Toronto Radio  radio


Prof. Sherry Grace’s research informs Heart & Stroke Foundation's 2018 Report

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Caring for a Woman's Heart

TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin  tv


Appearance on panel

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Time To See Red

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada  online


Contributed to HSFC's annual report on women and heart disease, and panel to launch corresponding social media campaign.

Media Appearance Image

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CTV News Channel  tv


Appearance to present results of our review paper - see:

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Articles (8)

Cardiac rehabilitation utilization in England: Results from the National Audit

Journal of the American Heart Association


Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is grossly underused, with major inequities in access. However, use of CR and predictors of initiation in England where CR contracting is available is unknown. The aims were (1) to investigate CR utilization rates in England, and (2) to determine sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with CR initiation including social deprivation.

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Advocacy for outpatient cardiac rehabilitation globally

BMC Health Services Research


Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death globally. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is an evidence-based intervention recommended for patients with CVD, to prevent recurrent event s and to improve quality of life . However, despite the proven benefits, only a small percentage of those would benefit from CR actually receive it worldwide.

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Cardiac rehabilitation referral and enrolment across an academic health sciences centre with eReferral and peer navigation

BMJ Open


Cardiovascular disease is among the leading causes of morbidity globally. With advances in acute treatment, patients are surviving their events, but remain at high risk of recurrence and subsequent mortality. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is an outpatient secondary prevention programme composed of structured exercise training, comprehensive education, and counselling, which has been shown to reduce recurrence and increase survival.

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Observing temporal trends in cardiac rehabilitation from 1996 to 2010 in Ontario: characteristics of referred patients, programme participation and mortality rates

BMJ Open

2015 OBJECTIVES: We sought to describe temporal trends in the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of participants referred to cardiac rehabilitation (CR), and its effect on programme participation and all-cause mortality over 14 years.

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A comparison of accelerometer cut-points among individuals with coronary artery disease

PLoS One

2015 Accurate assessment of physical activity among coronary artery disease patients is important for assessing adherence to interventions. The study compared moderate-to-vigorous physical intensity activity and relationships with cardiometabolic health/fitness indicators using accelerometer cut-points developed for coronary artery disease patients versus those developed in younger and middle-aged adults.

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Sex dependent risk factors for mortality after myocardial infarction: individual patient data meta-analysis

BMC Medicine

2014 Although a number of risk factors are known to predict mortality within the first years after myocardial infarction, little is known about interactions between risk factors, whereas these could contribute to accurate differentiation of patients with higher and lower risk for mortality. This study explored the effect of interactions of risk factors on all-cause mortality in patients with myocardial infarction based on individual patient data meta-analysis.

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Cardiac rehabilitation series: Canada

Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases

2014 Cardiovascular disease is among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in Canada. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) has a long robust history here, and there are established clinical practice guidelines. While the effectiveness of CR in the Canadian context is clear, only 34% of eligible patients participate, and strategies to increase access for under-represented groups (e.g., women, ethnic minority groups) are not yet universally applied. Identified CR barriers include lack of referral and physician recommendation, travel and distance, and low perceived need. Indeed there is now a national policy position recommending systematic inpatient referral to CR in Canada. Recent development of 30 CR quality indicators and the burgeoning national CR registry will enable further measurement and improvement of the quality of CR care in Canada. Finally, the Canadian Association of CR is one of the founding members of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, to promote CR globally.

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A systematic review of patient education in cardiac patients: Do they increase knowledge and promote health behavior change?

Patient Education and Counseling

2014 OBJECTIVES: (1) To investigate the impact of education on patients’ knowledge; (2) to determine if educational interventions are related to health behavior change in cardiac patients; and (3) to describe the nature of educational interventions.

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