Repeat heart attack risk declines in Sweden: study

The risk of recurrence of an acute heart attack has declined dramatically in Sweden in recent years, a new Swedish study published on Tuesday shows.

After a couple of years the risk of a recurring heart attack declines to only slightly higher than those that have never had a heart attack.

This is shown by a new study undertaken by researchers at Uppsala University and published in the US medical journal Circulation, Uppsala Nya Tidning writes.

“Our results are good news for patients which have had an acute heart attack. It is shown that preventative measures such as stopping smoking, checking blood pressure and lowering cholesterol really pay off,” Mats Gulliksson, a researcher at Uppsala University, said to the newspaper.

The study is unable to explain why the risk of heart attacks declines, but concludes that it is the case for both those having had only one heart attack and for those who have experienced several.

Gulliksson explains that one explanatory factor could be that fewer smoke generally, and that significantly fewer continue smoking after having had a heart attack.

The study considers 776,000 cases of heart attacks which occurred between 1972 and 2001. Of them 186,000 were recurring.

It was found that the risks continued to decline after a heart attack only to then begin rising slowly again.

Gulliksson argues that there is significant scope to further reduce the risks of both heart attacks in general but also their recurrence.

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