Higher education 'linked to lower risk of heart failure after a heart attack'

20 July 2016

People with higher levels of education are less likely to develop heart failure after a heart attack, according to a new study.

The University of Bergen research examined 70,506 patients aged 35 to 85 years who had been hospitalised with a first acute myocardial infarction during 2001 to 2009 and did not have a history of heart failure.

It was shown that 17.7 per cent were diagnosed with early-onset heart failure. Patients with secondary education had a nine per cent lower risk of heart failure compared to those with primary education, with the percentage rising to 20 per cent for those with tertiary education.

Another 11.8 per cent of patients were diagnosed with late-onset heart failure during an average follow up time of 3.4 years - among those patients with secondary or tertiary education respectively had a 14 per cent and 27 per cent lower risk of heart failure.

This may be because patients with lower education tend to delay seeking medical care when heart attack symptoms occur, have poorer access to specialised care, and are more likely to have coexisting medical conditions and unhealthy lifestyles.

Lead author Dr Gerhard Sulo, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bergen, said: "Focused efforts are needed to ensure that heart attack patients with low education get help early, have equal access to treatment, take their medications and are encouraged to improve their lifestyles."

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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