A new study finds a heart attack may not be enough of a scare for many people to change their unhealthy lifestyles.
After studying more than 7,000 heart patients from high and low income countries, researchers found that 1 in 5 continued to smoke and more than half did not adopt a healthy diet or exercise routine.
The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association states that people struggle to make healthy behavior changes even with the best intentions. "The minute we take our eyes off a risk factor, such as overweight and obesity, it gets out of control. You have to think about it and do something about it every day to make sure it stays in check," said Karol Watson, M.D., Director of Preventative Cardiology at UCLA.
Patients who have had a heart attack or stroke are most likely to have another, so the report says it is critical for families to give these patients the support they need to make healthy lifestyle changes.
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