40pc of heart attack victims still smoking
More than four in 10 heart attack survivors who were smokers are still lighting up two years after their illness, a study reveals.
The stark findings show that despite the life-threatening event, many people fail to quit the health vices which contributed to their ill health in the first place.
They have been given a second chance of life but their inability to abandon their unhealthy habits means that they continue to put themselves at risk of a second heart attack.
Two years after a heart attack, 39pc were still obese, the figures reveal.
Half had central obesity, where the fat is concentrated around the waist.
Some 31pc admitted they never or rarely take regular exercise that makes them sweat.
The worrying picture was unveiled at the Irish Cardiac Society's Annual Scientific Meeting yesterday.
"Survival of a heart attack is a second chance at life, but only if risk factors are managed, said Bill McEvoy, professor of preventive cardiology at NUI Galway and medical and research director at the National Institute for Prevention of Cardiovascular Health.
"While we're seeing better lifestyle habits in some patients, a considerable proportion - if not half - of Irish heart attack survivors are still not making the changes required to prolong their lives."
He said 40pc of the heart attack survivors continued to have raised blood pressure, despite many measuring their blood pressure at home.
More than one in two failed to reach their goal to bring down "bad cholesterol" .
Among those with diabetes, more than a third did not succeed in fully managing their blood sugar levels.
Nearly half did not get the flu vaccine.
Prof McEvoy said the 721 patients surveyed across nine cardiac sites had varying levels of risk-factor control.
A standardised national cardiovascular prevention scheme "would be one solution to the generally poor control of risk factors seen", he said.