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Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Cardiac Events and Deaths

A study conducted on a large sample of Swedish patients after coronary artery balloon intervention showed that up to 400 cardiac events and 200 deaths in patients could be avoided by following a heart healthy lifestyle.

In this study, investigators examined the benefits of changes in diet, levels of physical activity and use of tobacco among more than a thousand patients who have experienced an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) after being treated with coronary artery balloon placement. The results of the trial showed an up to four-fold reduction of new cardiac events (such as a heart attack or stroke) within six months after treatment among patients who followed lifestyle recommendations as compared to patients who failed to do so.

The patients, who had an average age of 66 and were mostly males, were asked to report on their current use of tobacco, physical activity and food habits within the first 2 months after treatment. Researchers found that about half of the patients had quit smoking, followed recommended nutritional guidelines and engaged in regular physical activity. However, about 16% continued smoking, only about 40% changed their dietary habits and only 31% increased physical activity levels after the intervention.

Professor Joep Perk from Linnaeus University explains that many patients believe that heredity and age are the main cause of their disease, rather than smoking, poor dietary habits or a lack of physical activity. A majority also reported that they were cured from the underlying heart disease, therefore accounting for the lack of interest in changing lifestyle.

Using these data, researchers estimate that there could be more than1,000 new cardiac events during the first half year after treatment. However, he adds that a 100% compliance to lifestyle recommendations could result in the prevention of one-third cardiac events and deaths.


European Society of Cardiology. Lifestyle changes could prevent 400 cardiac events and 200 deaths in Swedish PCI patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2012.

Posted in: Disease Prevention, Heart Health, News Briefs

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