Recent studies showed that Black patients, particularly women, had poorer life expectancy after a heart attack than other races. In order for Blacks to increase their life expectancy and prevent a second heart attack, they need to make lifestyle changes. Heart attack survivors could gain more than seven healthy years of life if they take the right medications and improve their lifestyle, new research estimates.
Unfortunately, studies have found, heart attack survivors rarely get optimal control over their risk factors.
The new research echoes that evidence: Of more than 3,200 patients, only 2% had their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar under good control one year after their heart attack or heart procedure.
Overall, 65% still had high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, while 40% had high blood pressure. Things looked just as bad when it came to lifestyle — with 79% of patients being overweight or obese, and 45% not getting enough exercise.
It all points to major missed opportunities, the researchers say.
Using a mathematical model, they estimated that if study patients’ risk factors were being optimally controlled, they could gain 7.4 extra years free of a heart attack or stroke.
Why were so many patients falling short of treatment goals? It’s likely a combination of things, researcher Tinka Van Trier, of Amsterdam University Medical Center in the Netherlands says.
Most patients were, in fact, on medication, including drugs to control