In this group of patients, who were all at high risk for a future acute myocardial infarction, 43 percent inappropriately assessed their risk as less than or the same as other people their age, the authors write. More men than women perceived themselves as being at low risk (47 percent vs. 36 percent, respectively).
Changes in the health care delivery system have led to less hospital time for heart disease patients, reducing the amount of time available for education about heart disease symptoms, the authors note. Patients require continued reinforcement about the nature of cardiac symptoms, the benefits of early treatment and their risk status, they write. Our findings suggest that men, elderly individuals, those with low levels of education and those who have not attended a cardiac rehabilitation program are more likely to require special efforts during medical office visits to review symptoms of acute myocardial infarction and to learn the appropriate actions to take in the face of new symptoms of acute coronary syndromes.
(Arch Intern Med. 2008;168:1049-1054. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)
Editors Note: Funding was provided by the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Editorial: Findings Encourage Support of Cardiac Rehabilitation
The researchers found two modifiable factors identified with increased knowledge about coronary artery disease: participation in cardiac rehabilitation and receiving care by a cardiologist, writes Robert A. Phillips, M.D., Ph.D., of the UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, in an accompanying editorial.
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