Heart Attack and Unstable Angina - Preventing Another Heart Attack
After you've had a
heart attack, your biggest concern will probably be
that you could have another one. You can help lower your risk of another heart attack by joining a cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program and taking your medicines.
Do cardiac rehab
You might have started cardiac rehab in the hospital or soon after you got home. It's an important part of your recovery after a heart attack.
In cardiac rehab, you will get education and support that help you make new, healthy habits,
such as eating right and getting more exercise.
Make heart-healthy habits
If you don't do a cardiac rehab program, you will still need to learn about
lifestyle changes that can lower your risk of another heart attack. These changes include quitting smoking, eating heart-healthy foods,
and being active.
For more information on lifestyle changes, see Life After a Heart Attack.
Take your medicines
After having a heart attack, take all of your medicines correctly. Do not stop taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to. If you stop taking your medicine, you might raise your risk of having another heart attack.
You might take medicines to:
- Prevent blood clots. These medicines include aspirin and other medicines such as clopidogrel (Plavix).
- Decrease the workload on your heart (beta-blocker).
- Lower cholesterol.
- Treat irregular heartbeats.
- Lower blood pressure.
For more information, see Medications.
One Man's Story:
"At some point in my life I
was going to have a heart attack. Smoking just sped it up. It happened while I
was playing basketball with some guys from work. I started getting pains in my
chest. The next thing I knew, I was on the floor."—Alan
Read more about Alan and how he learned to cope after a heart attack.