Following medical guidance after a heart attack increases the odds of long-term survival, according to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, which looked at data from more than 25,000 people (average age 68) who had heart attacks between 2008 and 2014.
Those who were adhering to all or most guideline-based recommendations 90 days after their heart attack were 43 percent and 31 percent less likely to die over the next three years, respectively, than those who adhered to three or fewer recommendations. For each additional recommendation followed, the mortality risk dropped by 8 to 11 percent.
The recommendations were use of four medications (beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors or similar medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and antiplatelet agents); achieving healthy levels of blood pressure and cholesterol; and, of course, not smoking.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see Don’t Second-Guess Heart Attack Symptoms.