Don't knock your friends: they could save your life.14 years, 9 months ago
Posted on Apr 16, 2004, 11 a.m.
By Bill Freeman
Heart attack survivors with a close friend, relative or lover to confide in are half as likely to suffer further heart attacks within a year as patients without a shoulder to cry on, a study shows. The study, published this week in the British Medical Association's journal Heart, tracked nearly 600 patients for a year after they had a heart attack.
The study, published this week in the British Medical Association's journal Heart, tracked nearly 600 patients for a year after they had a heart attack.
"Patients with a close confidant had only half the risk of a further cardiac event of those without a confidant," the study said, adding that the finding held even when adjustments were made for a host of other heart disease risk factors.
Those without a close relationship were more likely to drink heavily, smoke and use illicit drugs. But those factors alone did not explain their increased risk of additional heart attacks within a year, the study found.
The scientists said they still do not know why having a confidant helps keep a second heart attack at bay, but one possibility is that a close friend or partner may make sure a patient seeks treatment early and sticks to it.