A study conducted at the University of Leeds published September 15, 2014 suggests that post-discharge care may be critical to the survival of heart attack patients. The study analyzed data from 31,000 heart attack patients in an English hospital between January 2007 and December 2010. Through identifying nine critical factors in post-discharge care, the study concluded that patients who missed even one of these steps had a 46 percent higher risk of death within a month and a 74 percent higher risk within a year of discharge.

Among the factors listed in the study were: use of aspirin, reperfusion (restoring blood flow), referral for cardiac rehabilitation programs, a pre-treatment electrocardiogram, and hospital prescription of symptom-relieving products. The study also concluded that beta blockers, ACE-inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers and statins were crucial to minimizing death risk.

Of course, it's important to remember that each heart attack patient is different, and your personal physician and cardiologist can best advise your course of action in recovery from a cardiac episode. Nonetheless, it may behoove heart attack patients to consult their doctors about whether these steps are right for them.

To learn more about heart attacks:

Am I Having a Heart Attack?
How to Improve Your Odds of Surviving a Heart Attack
Love Helps Heart Attack Recovery