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(713) 464-6006

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(281) 398-4944

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A heart attack is a wake-up call for your heart health. While you’ll recover in the hospital, things might look a little different afterward.

After a heart attack, you’ll likely see a cardiologist more often and make some changes to your lifestyle to keep your heart happy. This is all good stuff to help your heart stay strong.

However, it’s important to know that despite these steps, it’s still possible that your life expectancy post-heart attack will change, especially depending on your age.

What is the Life Expectancy After a Heart Attack by Age?

A heart attack is serious, but it does not have to be a life sentence. Many people recover and live long, healthy lives afterward. But at the same time, it is also a fact that a heart attack can shorten your life expectancy by about 8-10 years.

Age plays a big role in this. The older you are when you have a heart attack, the higher the risk of complications and even death. For example, imagine you’re 65 and have a heart attack. There’s a 95% chance you’ll survive the next 5 years, according to the American Heart Association. But if you’re over 65, the chance drops to 79%.

Not only age but other health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and being overweight can also affect your lifespan after a heart attack. Smoking, unhealthy eating, and not exercising also play a part in how well you recover.

Care Factors Affecting Longevity After a Heart Attack

Even though your age and other health issues can affect how long you live after a heart attack, there are ways to improve your chances:

  • Act Fast: The quicker you get help during a heart attack, the better your chances of survival. Call emergency services right away if you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness.
  • Medications are Your Allies: After a heart attack, your cardiologist might prescribe medications to help manage your heart health and prevent future problems. These could include blood thinners, medications to slow your heart rate, and drugs to lower cholesterol.
  • Live a Heart-Healthy Life: Making healthy choices can make a big difference in your life after a heart attack. This means quitting smoking, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and finding ways to manage stress.

How Can You Prevent a Second Heart Attack?

Here’s what you can do to improve your heart health after a heart attack:

  • Take all your meds exactly as prescribed, and never skip a dose without talking to your doctor first.
  • Keep your follow-up appointments with your doctor. These visits help them monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and overall heart health.
  • High blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels can put you at risk for another heart attack. Work with your doctor to manage these numbers.
  • Aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week, such as walking. Your cardiac rehab program can help you safely increase the intensity.
  • Pay attention to any concerning symptoms and call your doctor if something feels off. If it’s a heart attack, call emergency services right away.
  • Consume fruits, veggies, lean proteins like fish, and whole grains. Limit unhealthy fats, salt, and added sugar.
  • Quitting smoking is extremely important. Consult your doctor about a strategy to quit smoking for good.
  • Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night (7-8 hours for adults over 60).

The Bottom Line

Recovering from a heart attack takes time. It’s important to listen to your body and not overdo things. If you’re concerned about your life expectancy after a heart attack or a loved one, feel free to get in touch with the expert cardiologists at Memorial Cardiology Associates.

Call us today at our Memorial City, Houston, TX location at (713) 464-6006. To book an appointment.

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