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Fewer Disease Risk Factors Yet More Fatal Heart Attacks
Date:11/15/2011

aged to go on exercise programs and eat better, and are more likely to be closely monitored and treated by physicians."

Study results notwithstanding, the best bet is to avoid having a heart attack, Fonarow said.

"Acute myocardial infarction is preventable," he said. "Aggressive control of coronary heart disease risk factors including hypertension [high blood pressure], hyperlipidemia [high cholesterol] and smoking can prevent acute myocardial infarction in the vast majority of men and women in the first place."

For people who are at risk, "the clinical implication of our study is that treating CHD factors makes a tremendous difference in reducing CHD mortality, and conversely, absence of CHD risk factors does not necessarily portend a good prognosis after heart attack," Canto said. "We hope the study will motivate people to get evaluated and treated."

More information

The American Heart Association describes how to assess and reduce your own risk.

SOURCES: John G. Canto, M.D., M.S.P.H., director, cardiovascular prevention, research and education, Watson Clinic, Lakeland, Fla.; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor of cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Nov. 15, 2011, presentation, American Heart Association meeting, Orlando, Fla.; Nov. 16, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association


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