Help Prevent a Second Heart Attack
1 in 4 heart attack and clot-related stroke survivors will have another one
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
November 23, 2021
The statistics are staggering. According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 4 heart attack and clot-related stroke survivors will have another one. But internist and board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Roshini Raj says there are simple things we can do every day to help prevent it.
“The key is to manage your risk factors,” says Dr. Raj. “After a heart attack, it’s important to manage things such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes by taking recommended medications, quitting smoking, eating healthy food, and getting active.”
The doctor has the following thoughts for those who have had a heart attack or clot-related stroke. “A doctor-directed aspirin regimen may help reduce their risk of another heart attack or clot-related (ischemic) stroke. Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen,” he advises.
As a reminder, no one should start, stop or modify an aspirin regimen without first speaking with their doctor. It's always important to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your regimen.
How can aspirin help prevent a second heart attack or clot-related stroke? “Aspirin helps limit the stickiness of platelets, which are part of the blood cells responsible for blocking arteries that lead to a heart attack or clot-related stroke. This helps prevent these harmful clots from forming and getting bigger and helps keep blood flowing,” says Dr. Raj.
He says you should ask your doctor about cardiac rehabilitation too. “This is a medically supervised program designed to help you recover after a heart attack or clot-related stroke," says the doctor. "It is comprised of an exercise program, education for heart-healthy living, and emotional support counseling. You should have received a referral to cardiac rehab when you were discharged from the hospital – if you didn’t, ask your doctor to provide one," says Dr. Raj.
Lastly, he says to find a support system. “It’s normal to feel scared, overwhelmed, or confused after a heart attack or clot-related stroke. Getting support from loved ones or from people who have also experienced a heart attack or clot-related stroke can help you cope.”
The bottom line is to make prevention a priority. Talk with your doctor about steps that are right for you.