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A healthy lifestyle keeps you alive.. after a heart attack

New research estimates suggest that heart attack survivors can gain more than seven healthy years of life if they take the right medications and improve their lifestyle.


According to experts, heart attack survivors rarely have optimal control over their risk factors, and among the more than 3,200 patients: 2% had blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar under good control, one year after a heart attack, or had surgery in the The heart, while the vast majority still suffer from high levels of harmful cholesterol, and high blood pressure.


Things seemed just as bad; When it comes to lifestyle, 79% are overweight or obese, and 45% don’t get enough exercise.


Using a mathematical model, the researchers estimated that if the study patients’ risk factors were optimally controlled, they could gain an additional 7.4 years free of heart attacks or strokes.


Why are so many patients unable to achieve treatment goals?


It’s likely a combination of things, says researcher Tinka van Trier, from the University of Amsterdam Medical Center in the Netherlands, and although most patients were taking medications, including drugs to control cholesterol and blood pressure, or to prevent blood clots, they may not have been. They stick to the optimal doses or combinations of medications, and she added that there are lifestyle factors that can have a special effect on blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.


Van Trier presented the findings at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, and Dr. Andrew Freeman, a cardiologist, said that just taking the medication may not be enough, and adjustments to the doses and combinations of medications may be necessary, and it is important to exercise and eat a healthy diet. and weight management, and Freeman encourages patients to switch to a plant-based diet, rich in foods such as: fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and high-fiber cereals.


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Qualification Programs


Cardiac rehabilitation programs are where people can find help. These programs can be prescribed in the aftermath of a heart attack, so that patients can supervise exercise and, often, other services, such as: nutrition advice, smoking cessation assistance, and reduce stress.


“I’m a huge fan of cardiac rehabilitation,” said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, president of the American Heart Association, explaining that after a heart attack, people can be afraid to exercise, be depressed, or feel “it’s too late” to do anything about it. Cardiovascular health.


Van Trier advises patients to talk to their doctor about any help they need to quit smoking, or to refer to a dietitian for help with nutrition and weight loss, and she said doctors may also be able to recommend community-based exercise programs.


As for medications, Lloyd-Jones said patients should always bring any concerns to their doctor: “If you’re concerned about potential side effects, talk to your doctor instead of stopping the medication.”


All three experts agreed that family support is always key, and that it is easier for patients to eat better, exercise, or stop smoking when they have someone else with them. They noted that if the whole family made healthy choices, everyone’s heart health would benefit.

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