Heart attack patients ‘not following advice’

Many heart attack patients are not taking the correct steps to look after their heart health and prevent another attack from happening, experts have warned.

Cardiologists said they see a noticeable gap between what lifestyle changes patients need to make compared to the actions they actually take.

A survey found that over one in five (21%) heart attack patients questioned still smoked and almost three in five were overweight.

Only one in five were actually taking the steps recommended by specialists to maintain their heart health for the rest of their lives and minimise their chances of another heart attack.

Up to one in five heart attack patients will go on to have another attack.

However, almost half of the patients surveyed believed their heart attack was an isolated event, and nearly two in five thought patients can fully recover from a heart attack within a year.

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of heart attacks and the risk of developing it is increased by smoking, being overweight or obese, eating a high-fat diet, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Joe Mills, consultant cardiologist and president-elect of the British Association for Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, said: “Lifestyle is important for everyone, but more so for heart attack patients.

“It is important that patients recognise the chronic nature of heart conditions and that there is a chance of having another heart attack or cardiac event.”

The survey, which was commissioned by AstraZeneca, saw 150 heart attack patients and 100 cardiologists questioned.

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