Study Shows Half of Heart Attack Survivors Not Monitoring Cholesterol

Ahead of World Heart Day, Amgen has released a study demonstrating that patient education is still necessary to combat cardiovascular disease.

Amgen has released findings from a global survey of heart attack survivors’ perceptions and awareness of the link between cholesterol and cardiovascular events. The survey release comes ahead of World Heart Day on Sunday, September 29.

World Heart Day, organized by the World Heart Federation, aims to educate and unite people around cardiovascular disease, as well as encourage action to improve heart health. The study found that patients are willing to act but need the right information from health care providers in order to help manage their risk and take the right actions.

The survey, commissioned by Amgen and conducted by KRC Research, found that 97% of those surveyed said they were taking at least 1 key action to lower their risk of another cardiovascular event, and 75% have discussed the risk with their doctor.

Patients who have had a previous heart attack or stroke had a 1 in 3 risk of experiencing another cardiovascular event, and that risk can be exacerbated by low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

When compared with men, the study also found that fewer women who have survived a heart attack were aware of their cholesterol levels and what their target levels should be.

Furthermore, younger heart attack survivors (defined as ages 40-49 years) were found to be more concerned about cardiovascular disease, but also were less likely to understand that it is a chronic condition requiring long-term management.

Across the board, knowledge about managing cholesterol was low. One-third of those surveyed did not know what their cholesterol levels should be, and 44% said they were not monitoring their cholesterol regularly. Only 1 in 5 heart attack survivors who have been told they have high cholesterol consider it to be a leading risk factor for another cardiovascular event.

“This World Heart Day, we want people to make a promise to themselves to look after their hearts,” said Jean-Luc Eiselé, CEO, World Heart Federation.

Lipid-lowering therapy is increasingly recognized by professional cardiology societies as a tool to reduce the risk of another cardiovascular event. This recognition is reflected in treatment guidelines for high-risk patients, but the study data demonstrated that patient education is still a vital step to advancing heart health.

REFERENCE

Amgen.com. (2019). Heart Attack Survivors Are Taking Steps To Reduce Their Cardiovascular Risk. But Are They The Right Ones? [online] Available at: https://www.amgen.com/media/news-releases/2019/09/heart-attack-survivors-are-taking-steps-to-reduce-their-cardiovascular-risk--but-are-they-the-right-ones/ [Accessed 26 Sep. 2019].