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13 January 2015 09:31
A heart attack can put a strain on people's relationships and mental health, new research has found
People who survive a heart attack can suffer ongoing relationship issues and mental health problems, according to research.
The poll by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed that three in four heart attack survivors experienced depression or other emotional health problems following the attack.
Around 175,000 Britons suffer a heart attack every year, but seven in 10 people now survive thanks to better treatments. However, many survivors face serious long-term conditions such as heart failure or angina.
The BHF's Wear It. Beat It. campaign is asking people to wear red and host an event to raise money for research into heart conditions on February 6.
A total of 905 heart attack survivors and 2,000 relatives of heart attack patients took part in the BHF poll. It found:
44% of survivors said the heart attack had left them feeling depressed or low
47% still feel depressed or low every week even many years after the heart attack happened
18% admitted the attack had a negative effect on a relationship
among family members, 41% said they were in constant fear of the relative suffering another heart attack
25% of spouses said the heart attack had put a strain on the marriage
10% have had to give up their job to care about their ill relative
A holiday provides an opportunity to spend some uninterrupted family time together. People who have suffered heart problems can arrange pre-existing medical travel insurance.
Heart-attack survival - my story
Among those supporting the Wear It. Beat It. campaign will be Julie Bartlett, from Kent, whose husband Edward suffered a heart attack 15 years ago.
The 55-year-old personal trainer said the worst part was having to tell the couple's two children, who were out of the country at the time of the incident.
Mrs Bartlett said she was "more emotional" about telling her daughter and son than about any other aspect of the heart attack, as they were in Australia and Ireland "enjoying adventures" when it happened.
She added that she never expected her family to be "affected by heart disease" but has realised now that the disease can hit anyone.
For more information about Wear It. Beat It. go to www.bhf.org.uk/red
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