New Guidelines May Help High-Risk People Live Longer, Healthier Lives

Posted by: admin on: February 28, 2012

Preventing a second episode of Cerebrovascular event and staying healthy and longer in  high risk patients is the key to these guidelines given on Nov 3,2011 in GlobeNewswire via COMTEX.


Healthy habits and optimal medical treatment can improve survival and quality of life for people who have been diagnosed with heart disease, or experienced a heart attack or stroke — For the first time, the guidelines emphasize the importance of participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program after a heart attack or bypass surgery, and of diagnosing and treating depression in heart disease patients For people who are either at high risk for a heart attack or stroke, or who have already had such an event, healthy habits and medication can help you live longer, improve your quality of life, and lower your chance of a repeat attack or the need for artery-opening procedures, according to new joint guidelines developed by the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association.

The guidelines will be published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

For the first time, the guidelines recommend that all patients be referred to a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program after a heart attack, stroke, bypass surgery, or the diagnosis of heart-related chest pain or blockages in leg arteries. In addition, the guidelines note that it is useful to screen heart disease patients for depression, a common occurrence after heart attack or bypass surgery that can interfere with quality of life and the ability to initiate positive changes in health behaviours.

The guidelines recommend that patients with coronary heart disease and other vascular disease such as stroke and peripheral artery disease:

  •   Stop smoking and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke;
  •   Get at least 30 minutes of exercise 5-7 days a week;
  •   Reduce weight if you are overweight, obese, or have a large waist;
  •   Get an annual flu shot;
  •   Take low-dose aspirin daily unless your doctor prescribes a higher dose or recommends against it because of medical contraindications.

The guidelines make several changes for health professionals in the recommended use of medications that reduce the tendency for blood clotting.

New drugs may be used instead of clopidogrel, in combination with aspirin for patients receiving coronary stents, such as prasugrel or ticagrelor, mention  the guidelines.

The importance of adequate dosages for statin therapy (to lower cholesterol) for all patients with known atherosclerotic vascular disease
“Be sure to ask your physician about therapies that can help you live longer and stay healthier after you’ve survived a heart attack or stroke and make them part of your commitment to a healthy lifestyle,” Smith said.

The new secondary prevention and risk reduction therapy guidelines are endorsed by the World Heart Federation and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.


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