Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Live chat with nurse Judy

Eric asks: I had a minor heart attack in 2002 and have been put on ramipril, simvastatin, metoprolol tartrate and asprin for life. What evidence is there to prove that I will live any longer taking the pills. Being a scientist by training I like to evaluate evidence for myself and not do something because some government dept. thinks its a good idea! I run, go to a gym twice a week and have not had a problems since 2002. Have I improved my chances of avoiding HA or are the chances still the same as if I had put my feet up?

Judy says:

I am sorry to read that you have experienced a heart attack but it’s great that you have made a good recovery. It’s difficult to point you in the direction of the evidence which supports the use of the cocktail of medication used to prevent a second heart attack as this evidence is not in one place. As a scientist yourself I am sure you will appreciate that the vast body of evidence has been accumulated over many years from scientists and medical researchers across the world. If you have a look at the stats on our website you will see that the death rate from heart disease has been steadily declining and the medication prescribed post a heart attack will have contributed to this decline. Other contributing factors include more prompt diagnosis and better access to emergency treatment (clot busting drug) at the time of the heart attack.

But you are right when you point out that medication alone is not enough and a healthy lifestyle is a vital part of the post heart attack rehabilitation. Its great that you have taken control over your health by going to gym twice a week.

I hope that this has answered your questions and I wish you good health in the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Eric,

As a scientist you might like to read these two very useful summaries that have passed intense scientific scrutiny and from which you should be able to track back, in one step, to all the raw data you need to confirm the advice you recieved.

Personally I think the advice is 100% correct from your description of your status. However you are wise to base your decisions on the raw data when you have time to do so. When you are too busy (as we often are in life!) it makes sense to accept the advice of others, as long as you are satisfied that they (on your behalf) are just as meticulous as you would be, in basing their advice on the raw data.

Dr Darrel Francis, Imperial College London