Medications to Prevent Another Heart Attack


Dr. Helga Van Herle

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In a healthy body, blood flows through the arteries, carrying oxygen to the heart. However, sometimes fat, cholesterol, and other substances can build up in the arteries, causing blockages that reduce or cut off blood flow to the heart. When the heart doesn’t receive the oxygen-rich blood it needs, it gets damaged—otherwise known as a heart attack.

Many different things can raise your risk of a heart attack, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, drug use, family history, and aging. And having one heart attack significantly raises your risk of having another, which is why it’s so important for heart attack survivors to commit to lowering their other risk factors. Lifestyle changes are key for preventing another heart attack—by eating a balanced diet that’s low in saturated and trans fats, adding exercise to your everyday routine, quitting smoking, and managing stress and depression, your risk of a second heart attack can be lowered. But along with those lifestyle changes, you’ll need to take several medications to keep your heart healthy and stay away from another heart attack.

You'll probably have a lot of questions after a heart attack. Watch this video to learn more about the recovery process.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Feb 1, 2018

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