How To Prevent The Risk Of A Second Heart Attack after the First

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One fine Sunday morning just after breakfast, Suresh Mahan, then 42, a Delhi businessman, experienced a sudden, dull pain and heaviness in the chest accompanied by sweating and lightheadedness. The feeling persisted and worsened up by afternoon, it was then he was suggested by his family doctor to be rushed to the hospital. There he was told that he just survived a minor heart attack and then was promptly put on medications.

However, most victims of a cardiac arrest do not get a second chance of survival. Studies suggest the growing epidemic nature of the cardiovascular disease (CVD). The current death rate due to the disease is 272 per 100,000 individuals (quite higher than the global average of 235 per 100,000 individuals).

India has seen an increasing CHD prevalence over the last 60 years, specifically from 1% to 9%-10% in urban populations and less than 1% to 4%-6% in rural populations.

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Case-control studies have reported that important risk factors for CHD in India are :

– Smoking


– Hypertension

– Abdominal obesity

– Psychosocial stress

– Unhealthy diet

– Physical inactivity

However, for the fortunate ones who have been gifted the second chance in the life, it is imperative to embrace it heartily. On an average, about a fourth of heart attack victims who survived the first year are likely to experience another within the next four to six years.

Some of the easy, yet suggestively consistent, steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle are:

1. Follow healthy and a balanced diet routine

Simple dietary modifications like less intake of cholesterol-rich foods, especially trans fat and saturated fat, added sugars, salt and caffeine that can harm the general well being of a person. Instead, an increased intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and beans can be beneficial. Also, it is good to supplement the diet with Omega-3 fatty acids that are helpful for the metabolism.

2. Daily exercise and walk

Regular and mild exercising routine boosts up the body metabolism, maintains a healthy heart and boosts the general mood of a person.

3. Quit smoking and drinking

Smoking is known to cause heavy damage to the normal rhythm of the heart and its arteries. Cutting down on smoking reduces the risk of a second heart attack by about 50%.

Drinking, on the other hand, poses no threat when done in permissible limits. However, beyond the recommended dose,  blood alcohol may raise the blood pressure; thereby increasing the chances of a heart attack.

4. Regular and routine health checkups

It is good to stick to the suggested medications by the practitioner after the first incidence of heart attack. Also, following timely check and follow-ups are equally important. Do not stop or alter the medications without your doctor’s advice.

5. Lead a healthy Psychosocial life

Socialize, discuss your problems with concerned persons, get adequate sleep, consult professionals in case of need, limit emotional involvement with anyone, and join a laughter club. All these activities will help you lead a stress-free happy life.

Once life gives you a second chance, it becomes your duty to maintain a healthy commitment to it. This will benefit you and your near and dear ones. Stay heart healthy.

Recommended Reads:

Aspirin – A Wonder Pill to Prevent Heart Disease

4 Things To Keep In Mind If You Suspect A Heart Attack

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