Where You Live Could Predict Your Survival After Heart Attack

FRIDAY, Aug. 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- There are many factors that affect your longevity after experiencing a heart attack. And now, new research finds that your neighborhood could play a key role in your long-term survival.

The researchers found that patients in poorer neighborhoods had a lower chance of survival over five years, and that Black patients in those neighborhoods had a lower chance than white patients.

"This study suggests that social and environmental factors can affect a person's outcome after a heart attack, and where a person lives can have a powerful impact on health outcomes," said senior study author Dr. Ming Sum Lee, a cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

For the study, Lee's team looked at records from more than 31,000 people treated for a heart attack at the same hospital between 2006 and 2016.

The investigators assessed patients' neighborhoods based on 17 factors that reflected education, income, employment and household characteristics.

The researchers discovered that Black patients from poorer neighborhoods were 19% more likely to die within five years of their heart attack than their white neighbors.

But five-year survival rates for Black patients in wealthier neighborhoods were similar to those of white patients from the same neighborhoods.

"These findings may be of particular interest to health systems, since most health systems invest heavily to improve the quality of care provided to heart attack patients within the medical system," Lee said in a Kaiser Permanente news release.

"However, what this study shows is that a patient's post-discharge environment also matters when it comes to long-term health outcomes," she added.

The findings were recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on heart attack recovery.

SOURCE: Kaiser Permanente, news release, Aug. 2, 2021

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