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  • Patients at risk of repeated heart attacks

    Author: AAP

At least 110 Australians suffer heart attacks every day and many do not receive the recommended medications afterwards, new research shows.

Patients who have been hospitalised with chronic heart disease are more likely to have repeat cardiovascular issues, but prescribed medication can reduce the risk.

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The study conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare also found women and people aged under 65 were less likely to be dispensed the recommended medicines following hospitalisation.

Institute spokeswoman Miriam Lum On said the findings were shocking.

"Really shockingly, we found that the people that were not receiving that clinically recommended guideline medication were women and also people who have cardiac bypass graft surgery," Ms Lum On said.


About 67,800 people who had been admitted to hospital with chronic heart disease between 2016 and 2017 were assessed for the study.

At least half of them had acute coronary syndrome, which includes heart attacks and unstable angina.

Roughly 61 per cent had been dispensed three or more of the guideline-recommended preventive medicines within 40 days of leaving hospital.

"People who have been to hospital for acute coronary syndrome are at higher risk of having another cardiovascular event in the future," Ms Lum On said.

Steps to reduce this risk include taking cardiovascular medication.

Australian clinical guidelines recommend people who survive an acute coronary event are prescribed a multi-drug regime that includes four medication classes.

More than half a million Australian adults have chronic heart disease, the leading single cause of disease burden and death in Australia.

About 24,800 people died from coronary heart disease or stroke in 2020.


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