Bobby Orr, the great NHL defenseman, had surgery on his knees more than a dozen times. Although doctors could repair his aching joints, over time his knees — and his career -- eroded more and more.
In his last three seasons with Chicago, he played in only 26 games.
The same kind of post-recovery hazards can plague survivors of a heart attack.
These days, almost 97% of people who have a heart attack and make it to the hospital survive. But — and there's always a but — according to a new study in American Journal of Cardiology, almost 20% of survivors develop heart failure within the next five years.
That happens because a heart attack damages your heart muscle and blood vessels, reducing the heart's ability to deliver blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the body's cells.
People who have advanced chronic kidney disease, diabetes, have had a second heart attack, or are African American are most at risk for heart failure after a heart attack.
If you've survived a heart attack or you are at risk for one because you smoke, have high blood pressure, have elevated LDL cholesterol, diabetes or obesity, drink alcohol excessively, or are sedentary, you need to listen up.
You want to work with your doctor to strengthen your heart muscle. The American Heart Association recommends:
• Quitting smoking
• Achieving a healthy weight
• Avoiding alcohol
• Limiting or avoiding caffeine
• Eating a plant-based diet
• Getting physical activity
• Managing stress
• Monitoring your blood pressure
• Getting adequate sleep
You should also get an annual flu shot as well the COVID-19 and pneumonia vaccines.