AHA launches initiative to prevent recurrent MIs

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The American Heart Association (AHA) recently launched a campaign to reduce the number of repeat or recurrent MIs.

The program is part of the AHA’s guideline transformation and optimization initiative, which is focused on making guidelines part of clinical practice. AstraZeneca supported the initiative with an educational grant.

Approximately 21 percent of women and 17 percent of men who are 45 or older will have another MI within five years of a first one, according to the AHA. Thus, the organization made several recommendations on how to reduce the risk of a recurrent MI.

The AHA said patients should follow their medication treatment plans, schedule and attend follow-up visits with their doctors, complete a cardiac rehabilitation plan, develop a support system and manage risk factors such as physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and obesity.

“Having a heart attack can obviously be very traumatic, and afterward patients and families can have a difficult time processing all that has happened, and all that needs to happen to get better,” Alice Jacobs, MD, a former AHA president and chair of the initiative’s advisory group, said in a news release. “All the questions to answer, the instructions to remember and the medical terms to understand can be overwhelming. We want to help by providing simple, easy to follow steps, easy to use tools and trackers that can help people not just recover fully from this heart attack, but prevent a future one.”