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The Washington Independent
Why Should We Ignore the Heart Attack Survival Statistics?

Why Should We Ignore the Heart Attack Survival Statistics?

January 20, 2021 | Adan Duran
health

Table of Contents

  • Post Heart Attack Survival: Scary Statistics
  • ​Rethinking The Statistics

Looking at the cardiac survival numbers, it's easy to see why so many recent survivors are suffering from depression. Overall, it's scarier for women compared to men. But as a heart attack survivor, the long-range of statistics will not scare you to death anymore!

The usual initial reaction upon reading the survival statistics will make you focus on putting your affairs in order and appear that your days are numbered. But another statistic could change your "doomed" mindset.

Post Heart Attack Survival: Scary Statistics

According to a heart survivor, she didn't realize that she had a heart attack and that it took five days before she made it into the Emergency Room. "​If however, unlike me,  you reach the ER soon after the onset of your heart attack, your chances of surviving it are around ​​90%."

Even so, according to the AHA (American Heart Assn.), 1 out of 4 men and 1 out of 3 women who survive their first heart attack will die within the following year. Within 5 to 6 years, 18% of the males and 35% of the females will experience a second, usually fatal, heart attack. 

​Rethinking The Statistics

So what statistic can give renewed hope, even though your ER arrival was far from timely? This one, from a New York Times article: "Two-thirds of patients who have suffered a heart attack, however, do not take the necessary steps to prevent another." 

This means that the depressing statistics above lumped all initial survivors together, those who made no lifestyle changes right along with those who did, and the ones who did little or nothing were the majority.

If you think a stent (or some other cardiac procedure) and a few drugs will do the trick, think again. For starters, post-heart attack care should involve a number of elements and, to quote an article concerning a large UK study, "neglecting just one of these steps severely decreases a survivor’s chance of continued, well, survival." 

The bottom line here is that there's a lot you can do to better your odds, so ignore those disheartening statistics, keep reading, and focus on improving your heart's health day-by-day!

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