All patients of a heart attack or stroke are generally at a higher risk of another attack. In fact, 1 out of 4 heart patients who have previously survived a heart attack is more likely to have a second heart attack which could be deadly. Only a careful medical plan and certain lifestyle changes can help to reduce the risk of a second heart attack. The heart patients are advised to be more careful during this coronavirus pandemic as they are included in the high-risk group along with diabetic patients, hypertension patients, and people above the ’50s.
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Lee Schwamm is a consultant neurologist and chairperson of the American Stroke Association. He also teaches neurology at Harvard Medical School and emphasizes on the significance of self-care plan to prevent another heart attack after having one before.
He says; “Unfortunately, the risk of a repeat stroke is high, and lifestyle changes to reduce a person’s risk are almost always necessary to reduce those odds.”
More than 80% of cases of a second heart attack or stroke are easy to prevent only by making healthy choices in life. The American Stroke Association has initiated a secondary heart attack and stroke prevention program which is sponsored and co-managed by Bayer.
It signifies the following to prevent the chances of another heart attack.
- High blood pressure- it is necessary for all existing and new heart patients to pay attention to their blood pressure while adopting a healthy routine. If the pressure increases, it becomes the biggest risk for a second heart attack or stroke.
- High cholesterol– with or without cholesterol-lowering medicines, heart patients are advised to work on their cholesterol levels and maintain them within a healthy range.
- High blood sugar- diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to regulate and metabolize blood glucose. It increases the risk of a second heart attack by double which is why most of the heart patients with underlying diabetes don’t survive a heart attack.
- Medicines- people who are prescribed with any daily medicine such as blood pressure or cholesterol medicine are generally at a higher risk of stroke and heart attack. It is necessary to know which type of medicines are safe for heart patients and which medicines are unsafe for them such as aspirin.
- Smoking habits- smokers are more likely to suffer from heart problems because their blood vessels are already weak which might disturb their blood circulation.
- Physical activities- the benefits of physical activities are not just confined to healthy individuals but also for the heart patients. The American Stroke Association advises all heart patients to spend at least 30 minutes a day, or 150 minutes per week in light to moderate physical activity.
The experts advise heart patients to save the emergency dials on their phones. In case of an emergency, they should immediacy dial their healthcare unit or 9-1-1 for getting help especially if they suspect having a second heart attack or a second stroke, after one before.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people who are above 65 years of age with any underlying medical conditions to be extra careful during the coronavirus pandemic. Although hospitals are providing the emergency medical services and many of them are resuming the non-urgent procedures as well, still the risk of coronavirus is higher when you are visiting a hospital. And this risk is even more in heart patients who have experienced a stroke or heart attack before. The heart attack survivors might experience health complications if they are diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus.