SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — A new study has revealed that nearly half of South Koreans who suffer from heart attacks resulting from clogged or narrowed blood vessels were unable to quit smoking even after receiving medical treatment for their acute illness.
The death rate for smokers with continuous smoking habits was 1.6-times greater than that of non-smokers.
A medical team led by Professor Park Jin-ju of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital analyzed the health of 13,452 patients who had suffered heart attacks based on medical records made available by the National Health Insurance Service.
According to the research team, 44 percent of smokers (1,856 people) continued to smoke after their heart attacks.
In addition, 89 percent of patients (8,672 people) who did not partake in much physical activity remained inactive after having a heart attack.
Meanwhile, 37.2 percent of patients who had an active lifestyle become less active after their heart attack.
In terms of death rates, patients who continued to smoke after their heart attack had a 1.6-times higher chance of death compared to those who had quit smoking.
For those who only started to smoke after their heart attack, the death rate almost doubled. In contrast, patients who continued to remain physically active before and after treatment saw a 37 percent decrease in death rate.
Those who maintained a less physically active lifestyle only to be more physically active after their treatment showed a 32 percent lower chance of death.
Doctors concluded that an appropriate amount of physical activity after the onset of heart problems could significantly lower the rate of death.
Of note, those who led more active lifestyles after suffering heart attacks had a 24 percent lower chance of being treated a second time for a heart attack.
“It is important to refrain from smoking and to get sufficient exercise after being treated for a heart attack,” said Prof. Park.
The results of the study were published in the online edition of “Circulation Journal,” a Japanese academic journal specializing in the circulatory system.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)