According to new research low socio-economic status can increase the chances of getting a second heart attack or stroke.
In the study, published in the journal European Society of Cardiology, the risk of a second attack is 36% higher with the people having low income quintile.
And 14% more in the divorced patients than the married patients
Joel Ohm, physician at the Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden, said, “Rich or poor, married or divorced might affect your risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Advances in prevention and acute treatment have increased survival chances after heart attack and stroke over the past several decades.”
His study investigated the link between socio-economic status in patients who had survived their first heart attack and have the risk of a second attack or stroke.
The total number of patients was – 29,953 (All first Heart Attack survivors)
Four years of study showed – 8% of them suffered a heart attack
The study found that divorce was associated with a 14 % greater risk of a second attack than the married.
An independent and linear relationship was found between income and the risk of a second event. The risk of a second attack is 36% higher with the people having low income quintile.
A higher level of education was associated with a lower risk of events but the association was not significant after adjustment for income.
Ohm added, “Our study shows that in the years following a first myocardial infarction, men and women with low socio-economic status have a higher risk of suffering another heart attack or stroke.
This is a new finding and suggests that socio-economic status should be included in risk assessment for secondary prevention after a heart attack.”
Doctors are unlikely to keep track of their patients income but simple questions about other socio-economic variables such as marital status and educational level can make a difference, the study suggested.