following heart attack prevention guidelines

In a study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers from Kaiser Permanente Northern California studied how effective following heart attack prevention guidelines is in decreasing the chances of mortality in years to come.

Patients were 18 years or older and had experienced a heart attack between 2008 and 2014. Thirty-to-ninety days after having a heart attack, participants’ adherence to prevention guidelines was examined. The prevention guidelines given to patients were to not smoke, to reach healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and to take a total of four medications for cardiovascular health. Most patients were assessed for 2.8 years using an electronic medical record system.

The researchers reported that 35% and 34% of participants followed five or six prevention guidelines, respectively, 30 days after a heart attack. Furthermore, up to 31%of participants followed six or seven prevention guidelines 90 days after a heart attack. The researchers reported that following more prevention guidelines lowered participants’ chances of mortality in years to come. In fact, participants who were following all of the prevention guidelines had a decreased chance of mortality by 39-43%.

This study underscores the importance of following prevention guidelines after a heart attack, and that patient follow-up shortly after a heart attack may motivate them to practice more prevention guidelines.

Written by Laura Laroche, HBASc, Medical Writer

References:

Heart attack patients who follow more guidelines live longer. 2020, https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-03/kp-hap030220.php, assessed March 5th, 2020.

Solomon, Matthew D. et al. “Cumulative Adherence to Secondary Prevention Guidelines and Mortality After Acute Myocardial Infarction”. JAMA. March 5th, 2020. Online.

Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay 

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