MountainStar Health - January 15, 2020

Skipping school is rarely a good idea, no matter how old you are. In fact, truancy can be down¬right deadly for heart attack survivors, say researchers in Sweden. In that country, heart attack patients are encouraged to attend “Heart School” after leaving the hospital. Participants who accept the invitation and follow instructions are half as likely to die within two years as those who don’t go, according to researchers from Uppsala University.

Heart School is a cute name for a serious education program focused on cardiac rehabilitation. Participants take part in individual counseling and group sessions that teach them how to eat healthier, maintain an exercise routine, quit smoking and more.

Though government-sponsored Heart Schools don’t currently exist in the United States, many hospitals, nonprofits and community groups offer educational programs for heart attack survivors—you just have to know where to look. The good news for H2U members? You may not have to look far! Your HCA Healthcare hospital can connect you to rehabilita¬tion programs, educational resources and support services that will help you recover from a heart attack.

For instance, you or your loved one may be able to join a nutritionist-led workshop on how to cook heart-healthy meals. Or try a new exercise regimen in a cardiac rehab fitness class. You can also find assistance to help you quit smoking once and for all at a smoking cessation group. Check with your hospital, cardiologist or primary care physician to find the best cardiac rehab and patient-education programs for you.