A new study shows that if you had a heart attack and survived it, your chances of having another attack within a year are halved if you have close friends and/or relatives who love you (in comparison to patients who do not have close friends and loving relatives). The study mentioned that patients with a close confidant had only half the risk of a further cardiac event of those without a confidant. According to the report, they made adjustments for many other heart disease risk factors.
It seems that you are more likely to drink heavily if you do not have close confidant. You are also more likely to smoke and take illegal drugs.
However, the study said that it was not the difference in drinking, smoking and substance abuse alone that increased the risk of another heart attack, report medicalnewstoday.com
According to reuters.com the study, published this week in the British Medical Association's journal Heart, tracked nearly 600 patients for a year after they had a heart attack. Those without a close relationship were more likely to drink heavily, smoke and use illicit drugs. But those factors alone did not explain their increased risk of additional heart attacks within a year, the study found.
The scientists said they still do not know why having a confidant helps keep a second heart attack at bay, but one possibility is that a close friend or partner may make sure a patient seeks treatment early and sticks to it.
This loving influence was found to remain, even when other factors, such as the degree of severity of attacks, were taken into account.
The study recorded the patient's marital status; years of education; history of smoking, drinking, and illicit drug use; and the presence of previous or familial heart disease.
It also included details of mental health and whether the patient had been separated from their parents during childhood.
The study found that patients without a really close relationship were more likely to drink heavily, use illegal drugs, and to have had at least one previous heart attack.
They were also twice as likely to have 'lost' both parents during childhood as patients who enjoyed a really close relationship with another person.
The authors speculate that separation from parents during childhood might adversely affect the chances of forming an intimate relationship as an adult.
Old age and a history of heart disease increased the likelihood of having additional heart attacks.
But patients with confidants had half the risk of those who did not, even after accounting for other risk factors.
Researchers speculated that these confidants impelled patients to maintain their treatment and attend follow up sessions with their health care providers.
The study said that it was not the difference in drinking, smoking and substance abuse alone that increased the risk of another heart attack, inform mensnewsdaily.com
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