High Risk Patients

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Prior to embarking on a public education campaign, the NHAAP targeted high risk patients for education by the medical community (23,24). This group continues to be an important patient population for education about early recognition and response to acute MI. Over 12 million patients in the United States have a history of an MI, angina pec-toris, or both, divided approximately evenly between males and females. People who survive the acute stage of a heart attack have a chance of illness and death that is 1.5-15 times higher than that of the general population, depending on their sex and clinical outcomes. The risk of another heart attack, sudden death, angina pectoris, heart failure, and stroke, for both men and women in this group, is substantial (1). Within 6 yr after a recognized heart attack, 18% of men and 35% of women will have another heart attack. Furthermore, 7% of men and 6% of women will experience sudden death (1). It is recommended that these high-risk patients receive specific instructions from their care-givers on recognition of symptoms, including an understanding that symptoms of a recurrent MI may not be the same as those of a previous event. They are also to be instructed on what to do in terms of taking nitrates and taking an aspirin, and are urged to call 9-1-1. These recommendations are to be shared not only with the patient, but also with family, and written as a reinforcement to both patient, family members, and others who may be around the patient when symptoms occur (23,24) (Fig. 12).

Heart disease is the top killer of men and women.

Learn the signs of a heart attack and the steps to rake if one happens. Vou can save a life-maybe your own.

Treatment can stop a heart attack in its tracks.

Clot-busting drugs and nther artery-opening treatments work best to stop j heart attack if given wifJiria 1 hpai-Ofthe start of symptoms.

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