Heart Attacks a 'Wake-Up' Call for Hispanics: Survey

Poll finds too few are taking steps to prevent future illness

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THURSDAY, April 5, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Many Hispanic heart attack survivors consider their heart attack a "wake-up call" and fear having another heart attack more than dying, a new survey finds.

The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) poll of 501 heart attack survivors also found that nearly a third of them have had more than one heart attack.

Even though many Hispanic heart attack survivors fear having another heart attack, too few are taking the steps -- exercise, healthy eating, taking appropriate medications -- that are needed to prevent another heart attack or heart disease.

"Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in our community, which is why we are so dedicated to raising awareness about this illness," Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of NHMA, said in a prepared statement. "Our survey indicates that many Hispanics are worried about experiencing another heart attack. By sharing these survey findings with the broader community, we hope to remind Hispanic heart attack survivors that they are not alone, and there are many ways they can find information and support to live a healthy life."

The survey also found that:

  • Many Hispanic heart attack survivors feel they know how to manage their health after their heart attack, but 59 percent said they wanted additional information about risk factors for another heart attack, and 55 percent wanted advice about medications.
  • To get that kind of information, 70 percent go to their doctors, and 62 percent use the Internet. The survey also found that 90 percent of Hispanic heart attack survivors felt they would benefit from the advice of others who'd had a heart attack.
  • Along with the fear of having another heart attack, Hispanic heart attack survivors were also concerned about other diseases they've been diagnosed with, including high blood pressure (64 percent) and high cholesterol (51 percent).

A network of family, doctors, and other heart attack survivors can help Hispanic heart attack survivors get the information they need to live a healthy life, the NHMA said.

More information

The American Heart Association discusses lifestyle changes that can reduce Hispanics' heart attack risk.

SOURCE: National Hispanic Medical Association, news release, March 26, 2007

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