New studies show that higher education is associated with a lower risk of developing heart failure after a heart attack.
According to a study in more than 70,000 patients published recently in theEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the association between educational level and the risk of developing heart failure after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was investigated.
information on the highest level of educational attainment of the National Database Norwegian Education was obtained. Education is classified as primary (up to 10 years of compulsory education), secondary (high school or vocational school) or tertiary (university).
Education itself can not be considered a protection in the classical sense, but represents a grouping of characteristics that influence health behaviors and outcomes, “says Gerhard Sulo, a postdoctoral student at the University of Bergen.
It was followed patients for an episode of heart failure until 31 December 2009. Over time regarding the incident AMI, heart failure is classified into two mutually exclusive categories; Early onset (heart failure at admission or during hospitalization developing the incident AMI) and late onset (rehospitalization for heart failure or death from heart failure after discharge after hospitalization for AMI incident). They separated for early heart failure and late onset analyzes were performed.
When the analysis to patients who received coronary revascularization is limited to clear blocked arteries after AMI, those with secondary or tertiary education recorded respectively 16 and 33 percent lower risk of heart failure late onset compared to those with primary education. Educational differences in the risk of heart failure early onset and late onset were similar in men and women.
“Education itself can not be considered protection in the classical sense, but represents a grouping of characteristics that influence health behaviors andoutcomes. It has been shown that patients with less education tend to delay seeking medical care when symptoms of heart attack occur and have less access to specialty care , “says lead author Gerhard Sulo, a postdoctoral student at the University of Bergen in Norway.
“These factors increase the risk of developing heart failure early onset after AMI.People with less education are more likely to have co – existing medical conditions and styles of unhealthy life that also increase the risk of heart failure , ” he adds.
“Interventions to ensure that heart attack patients with low levels of education receive early help, have equal access to treatment, take medication and are encouraged to improve their lifestyles are needed. This should help reduce the gap socioeconomic risk of heart failure after a heart attack, “concludes Sulo.