The effects on patients of a long-term comprehensive rehabilitation program after coronary artery bypass grafting were studied by means of a comparison between 51 participants and 45 nonparticipating control patients. Preoperational comparison of the two groups showed no significant difference in age, body weight, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, percent of patients with one myocardial infarction or one- or two-vessel disease, or number of grafts performed. No significant group difference was found in level of education, annual income, or type of employment. In both groups all patients continued to work regularly until two weeks before the operation. Postoperatively, compared with the untrained group, the trained group showed significantly (P ≤ .05) higher functional capacity and percentage of patients resuming work (P ≤ .0001) after one year, as well as after 4.8 ± 1.9 (mean ± standard deviation) years. The increased rate of return to work in the trainees may be a function of the fact that they are volunteers and thus may be better motivated to return to work in any case. On the basis of the results, it is suggested that a comprehensive rehabilitation program that includes physical training, control of risk factors, and cardiovascular follow-up may provide functional (physical work capacity) and economic and psychosocial (resumption of work and feeling of well-being) benefits for as long as 58 months after coronary artery bypass grafting.