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Heart Attack Increases Risk Of Other Health Conditions

5 months ago

4104  0
Posted on Feb 22, 2024, 2 p.m.

Research from the University of Leeds published in PLOS Medicine indicates that having a heart attack significantly increases the risk of developing other serious long-term health conditions. The study showed that patients surviving a heart attack went on to develop further conditions at a much higher rate than their counterparts who did not have a heart attack.

Estimates are that 7 in 10 people will survive a heart attack provided that they receive timely emergency treatment to get the blood flowing to the heart muscle again. However, research has shown that heart attacks can have other health implications including further conditions that affect the heart and circulatory system, as well as conditions affecting other parts of the body and mental health conditions. 

For this study, researchers analyzed over 145 million records covering adult patients who were admitted to hospitals over nine years to establish the risk of long-term health outcomes following survival of a heart attack. The analysis revealed that up to one-third of the patients went on to develop heart or kidney failure, 7% had further heart attacks, and 38% died from any cause within the 9-year study period. 

The analysis included records of those aged 18+ admitted to one of 229 NHS Trusts in England from 1.1.2008 to 31.1.2017, amounting to 145,912,852 hospitalizations among 34,116,257 people; with 433,361 reports of first-time heart attacks from those with an average age of 67 years old who were 66% male. The study investigated 11 non-fatal health outcomes plus death from any cause and compared the results to a control group of 2,001,310 people. 

The analysis also revealed that heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, severe bleeding, kidney failure, type 2 diabetes, and depression occurred more frequently in those who experienced a heart attack than their counterparts who did not. The risk of cancer was overall low (13.5% compared to 21.5% of the controls) and the risk of dementia (2.3% compared to 2.1% of the controls) did not differ significantly. Women (21.5%) under the age of 40 were more likely to develop depression than their male (11.5%) counterparts.

Additionally, those from more socio-economically deprived backgrounds were found to be more likely to die or develop serious long-term health conditions after experiencing a heart attack. Specifically, those from more deprived backgrounds were found to be more likely to develop heart and kidney failure compared to their counterparts from less deprived backgrounds.

29.6% of the study group went on to develop heart failure within 9 years of their heart attack compared to 9.8% of the control group. 27.2% went on to develop kidney failure compared to 19.8% of the control group. 22.3% went on to develop atrial fibrillation compared to 16.8% of the control group, and 17% went on to develop diabetes compared to 14.3% of the control group. 19% developed severe bleeding compared to 18.4% of the control group; 12.5% developed cerebrovascular disease compared to 11.6% of the controls; 6.5% developed peripheral arterial disease compared to 4.06% of the controls, and 37.8% died of death from any cause compared to 35.3% of the controls.

"There are around 1.4 million heart attack survivors in the UK who are at high risk of developing further serious health conditions. Our study provides accessible online information of the risk of these health outcomes for specific age, sex, and socioeconomic deprivation groups so that individuals surviving a heart attack can be well informed about their future risks, in order to support informed healthcare decision-making with their doctor,” said lead author Dr Marlous Hall, Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Epidemiology in Leeds' School of Medicine and Multimorbidity Research in the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA).

"Effective communication of the likely course of disease and risk of adverse long-term outcomes between patients and healthcare professionals can promote positive lifestyle changes, encourage patients to stick to treatment, and improve patient understanding and quality of life,” continued Hall adding that "Our study highlights the need for individual care plans to be revised to take into account the higher demand for care caused by survivorship."

 "This research provides valuable insight into the types of support and interventions that may be needed for patients following a heart attack, helping both doctors and patients make informed decisions during recovery and beyond,” said Morag Foreman, Head of Discovery Researchers at Wellcome."This research shows how cohort studies and analysis of large data sets can further our understanding of key health challenges and demonstrates the value to supporting discovery research in the field of population and public health. As survival rates following a heart attack improve, understanding the longer-term impacts on physical and mental health is crucial."

 "While more people than ever are surviving heart attacks, there can be longer-term consequences. Particularly after a major heart attack, people can be left with irreparable damage to their heart, putting them at increased risk of heart failure,” said Professor Bryan Williams, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at the British Heart Foundation."This study sheds further light on how heart attacks are associated with increased risk of developing other serious health conditions, including heart failure and atrial fibrillation. It also found that those from more socioeconomically deprived backgrounds are at greater risk of further ill health after a heart attack, and at a younger age. The research suggests that these patients may benefit from additional support and monitoring to help reduce their risk of developing further health conditions.”

"It is vital NHS has the resource, including staff, infrastructure and equipment, to deliver the care that patients need to help them stay in the best possible health for longer."

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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