Secondary prevention after acute myocardial infarction: Drug adherence, treatment goals, and predictors of health lifestyle habits. The BLITZ-4 Registry

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To describe drug adherence and treatment goals, and to identify the independent predictors of smoking persistence and unsatisfactory lifestyle habits six months after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Methods and results:

11,706 patients with AMI (30% female, mean age 68 years) were enrolled in 163 large-volume coronary care units (CCUs). At six months, drug adherence was ≥90%, while blood pressure (BP) <140/90 mmHg, low density lipoprotein (LDL) <100 mg/dl (in patients on statins), HbA1c <7% (in treated diabetics), and smoking persistence were observed in 74%, 76%, 45%, and 27% of patients, respectively. Inadequate fish intake decreased from 73% to 55%, inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables from 32% to 23%, and insufficient exercise in eligible patients from 74% to 59% (p<0.0001). At multivariable analysis, a post-discharge cardiac visit and referral to cardiac rehabilitation at follow-up were independently associated with a lower risk of insufficient physical exercise (odds ratio (OR) 0.71 and 0.70, respectively) and persistent smoking (OR 0.68 and 0.60), whereas only referral to cardiac rehabilitation was associated with a lower risk of inadequate fish and fruit/vegetable intake (OR 0.70 and 0.65).


Six months after an AMI, despite a high adherence to drug treatments, BP, LDL, and diabetic goals are inadequately achieved. Subjects with healthy lifestyles improved after discharge, but the rate of those with regular exercise habits and adequate fish intake could be further improved. Access to post-discharge cardiac visit and referral to cardiac rehabilitation were associated with better adherence to healthy lifestyles. Knowledge of the variables associated with specific lifestyle changes may help in tailoring secondary prevention programmes.

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