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Home situation linked to heart relapse

Wednesday April 18th, 2018

People who go through divorce or have low socioeconomic status faced increased risk of repeated cardiovascular incidents, Swedish researchers report today.

Factors affecting the rate of relapse among myocardial infarction survivors were examined by a team at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. They used information on 29,226 survivors of a first infarction from national registries.

Patients were followed for an average of four years from their first heart attack. This showed that divorce and low socioeconomic status may be significantly associated with a higher risk of a recurrent heart attack, or a stroke.

Once age, sex, and year of first heart attack were taken into account, patients with over 12 years of education had a 14% lower risk of a recurrent event than those with nine or fewer years of education.

Patients in the highest fifth for household income had a 35% lower risk than those in the lowest fifth, and divorced patients had an 18% greater risk than married patients.

The study was published yesterday (17 April) in The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Researcher Dr Joel Ohm and colleagues believe: "Marriage appears to be protective against recurrent events and aligns with traditional indicators of higher socioeconomic status, but conclusions on the underlying mechanisms cannot be drawn from this study."

There were indications that unmarried men were at higher risk of recurrence and unmarried women were at lower risk, but "these findings should be interpreted cautiously," the team says.

"The take-home message from this study is that socioeconomic status is associated with recurrent events," said Dr Ohm.

"No matter the reasons why, doctors should include marital and socioeconomic status when assessing a heart attack survivor's risk of a recurrent event. More intense treatment could then be targeted to high risk groups."

Ohm, J. et al. Socioeconomic status predicts second cardiovascular event in 29,226 survivors of a first myocardial infarction. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 17 April 2018 doi: 10.1177/2047487318766646

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487318766646

Tags: Europe | Heart Health

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