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Heart Attacks Don't Sway Smokers

'Unbelievable' Number of Heart Patients Still Smoke, Dutch Expert Finds

Doing Something Right

Quitting smoking can be very tough. It can also be challenging to build other heart-friendly habits, such as upgrading diet and exercise.

But those changes are possible. Just look at the participants who quit smoking after hospitalization.

They beat persistent smokers at cutting intake of fat, salt, and calories while boosting physical exercise and consumption of fish and vegetables, the study shows.

That's based on the patients' interviews. Those claims weren't confirmed.

Major Motivation

"Making lifestyle changes is a complex and difficult process from [a] psychological point of view, and evidence exists that only those who are really motivated succeed," the researchers write.

"Indeed, our data demonstrated that patients who gave up smoking also took significantly more actions to improve their lifestyle otherwise than persistent smokers," they continue, noting that tackling more than one preventable risk factor at a time seemed to work best in their study.

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