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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Self-care after a heart attack

cycling in woodYou play an important part of your recovery from a heart attack. After having had a heart attack, you're more likely to have another, so you may need to make long-term changes to reduce this risk.

Make healthy choices

Making healthy choices can help your heart recover and reduce your risk of a further heart attack and stroke. Changes you can make include:

Attend cardiac rehabilitation

Attending a cardiac rehabilitation programme has been shown to improve recovery and prevent further episodes.

After completing the course, you may like to join a support group at Cardiac Companions.

Keep other conditions under control

Be checked for and keep under control other conditions that affect your heart, such as high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Take medication

You'll be given medicines to reduce your chance of having another heart attack or stroke. You'll be able to stop some of these medicines in time but you'll need to take others for life. If you have side effects or are concerned about your medication, talk to your doctor or nurse before stopping them.

Look after yourself

Having a heart attack can be a very distressing time for you and your family. You may find you need help with depression or anxiety. You may also need to look at ways of reducing stress.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Preventing angina and heart attacks

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed December 2021.

Page reference: 294539

Review key: HIHAT-110391