3 Things Heart Attack Survivors Need to Know About Their Hidden Risk

(BPT) – Every 40 seconds one American has a heart attack and nearly 1 in 4 people who have had a heart attack will have another one, so it’s important to understand your hidden risk factors.1

If you are recovering from a heart attack, making lifestyle changes, following a cardiac rehab program and taking medications, including Bayer® Aspirin as directed by your doctor, can help you prevent another cardiovascular event.

Here are three things you should know.

Your genetics and family heart attack history can increase your risk of having one.

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Yesenia Araujo had her heart attack at 43. “I never thought I would call myself a heart attack survivor,” Yesenia remembers. “I was a super active person and considered myself the picture of health. Now I know that heart attacks can happen at any age and that family history is a strong indicator of risk. My father had diabetes and died of a heart attack at 64.” Your risk of a heart attack is higher if a parent or sibling has had a heart attack.

80 percent of major heart attack risk factors can be managed through lifestyle changes.1

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Although you can’t control your family history, you can control other risk factors. These include quitting smoking if you are a smoker, losing weight and being more active by exercising regularly, and changing your diet to limit fat, salt and sugar. You also can work with your doctor to help manage conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

An aspirin regimen can help reduce the risk of a second heart attack by 31 percent.2

“Aspirin helps keep the blood flowing by preventing blood cells known as platelets from clotting in your body. This can help prevent blockages from occurring or current blockages from getting bigger,” says Rosa Coppolecchia, D.O., MPH, Medical Director, U.S. Medical Affairs, Cardiology, Bayer® Aspirin.

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In the United States, aspirin is indicated to help prevent a second heart attack under a doctor’s direction, also known as secondary prevention. For more information, visit YourHiddenRisk.com.

Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.

[1] Benjamin EJ, Muntner P, Alonso A, et al. on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2019 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2019;139:e56–e528.

[2] Baigent C, Blackwell L, Collins R, et al. Aspirin in the primary and secondary prevention of vascular disease: collaborative meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised trials. Lancet. 2009;373:1849-1860.