Preventing a second heart attack

  • Preventing a Second Heart Attack: Best Practices
    The sad fact is that more than half of all patients who experience a heart attack never completely recover. At least a quarter of heart attack victims who survive the first year will experience another attack within four to six years. Survivors are significantly more likely to become ill, and women are substantially more likely to die within a month of the initial attack.

    The good news is that experiencing a heart attack doesn’t have to mean that your life is over. More than likely, however, you will need to make necessary lifestyle changes. By following a few best practices you are significantly less likely to experience another attack and, more than likely, you will feel (and look) better than you have in years! So, what are the best ways to prevent a second heart attack?

    A Healthy Diet
    Following a heart attack you will receive information from your healthcare provider regarding simple dietary changes you can implement to improve your health. It is recommended that you follow these guidelines and begin to cut foods out that are bad for your health while adding foods that support heart-health. For example, eliminating foods high in trans-fat and saturated fats can help to lower your bad cholesterol levels. Fish that is rich in Omega-3-fatty acids, such as salmon and trout, can help improve the overall health of your heart. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and beans are other foods that may improve your health and promote a sense of wellbeing.

    Quit Smoking
    Research provides strong evidence that smoking is one of the primary reasons people suffer from poor health conditions, disease, and heart attacks. By continuing to smoke you substantially increase the likelihood that you will experience another, possibly fatal, heart attack. Get the support that you need now and plan to quit smoking immediately!

    Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
    Begin slowly, and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Walking a short distance is usually the best way to start getting back in shape. Eventually you may be able to build an aerobic routine that includes activities like swimming, cycling, and jogging. However, make certain that your physician recommends this increased level of activity.

    Take Your Medication!
    Follow your doctor’s directions regarding all medications that have been prescribed. Take them as scheduled, precisely as you have been advised by your medical providers and by your pharmacist. Aspirin may also be taken as directed. As with anything else in life, good judgment is one of the best practices for avoiding a second heart attack.