Heart Attack Survivors Are Taking Steps to Reduce Their Cardiovascular Risk. But Are They the Right Ones?
Close to Half of Survivors Are Not Monitoring Their Cholesterol Regularly
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., – Media OutReach – 27 September 2019 – In recognition of World Heart Day on Sunday, September 29, Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGEN) today released findings from a global survey that evaluated worldwide heart attack survivors’ perceptions and awareness of the connection between cholesterol and cardiovascular (CV) events.
Globally, patients who have had a heart attack or stroke have a 1 in 3 risk of having another CV event.1 Lipids, such as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), or “bad” cholesterol, are one of the most important risk factors for heart attack.2,3
The survey’s findings show that while heart attack survivors are proactively trying to improve their cardiovascular health, they may not fully understand the importance of lowering high LDL-C to reduce their risk of another heart attack:
97% of heart attack survivors surveyed say they are taking at least one key action to try to lower their risk, and 75% have talked to their doctor about the risk of another event.4
However, confusion remains when it comes to lowering cholesterol. One-third do not know what their cholesterol levels should be and 44% are not monitoring their cholesterol regularly; only one in five heart attack survivors who have been told they have high cholesterol consider it to be a leading risk factor for another event.4
“The vast majority of heart attack survivors are taking some action to lower their risk of another event, but the issue is that most are not monitoring or managing all modifiable risk factors,” said Darryl Sleep, M.D., senior vice president, Global Medical and Chief Medical Officer, Amgen. “We’re using this World Heart Day to urge all people who are high-risk, like heart attack survivors, to speak with their doctor about the link between cholesterol and heart attacks, and how they can lower their cholesterol levels.”
Key survey findings — which included over 3,200 people in United States, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, China, South Korea, and Japan — revealed that patients might not be having the right conversations with their doctors.
63% of surveyed patients do not believe high cholesterol is a chronic condition requiring long-term care, and 24% of survivors say their doctor has not discussed the role of cholesterol in heart attacks.4
Fewer women who have survived a heart attack know their cholesterol levels and what their target levels should be than men who have survived a heart attack.4
In addition, while younger survivors (aged 40-49) are more concerned about cardiovascular disease (CVD) than their older peers, fewer understood that it is a chronic condition requiring long-term management and care.4
World Heart Day, organized by the World Heart Federation, is a campaign that unites people from all countries and backgrounds in the fight against CVD burden, and inspires and drives international action to encourage heart-healthy living across the world. The survey shows patients are willing to act, but need the right information from physicians to help manage their risk and take the right actions.
Approximately 8 of 10 very high-risk adults are still unable to attain their LDL-C goal despite lipid-lowering therapy.5 Very high-risk adults have a history of multiple major atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events or one major event and multiple high-risk conditions. Professional cardiology societies around the world now recognize that lower cholesterol reduces the risk of another CV event, which is reflected in updated treatment guidelines for high-risk patients.6
“This World Heart Day, we want people to make a promise to themselves to look after their hearts,” said Jean-Luc Eiselé, CEO, World Heart Federation. “Globally, cholesterol levels have hardly changed in nearly 30 years,7 and the incidence of heart disease is expected to rise by 40% by 2035.8 Doctors and health organizations around the world need to work with all patients, including high-risk to help them understand the right steps to take after a heart attack. This global survey reveals the continued confusion surrounding LDL-C and CVD, and the need for more people to act.”
Amgen encourages heart attack survivors or anyone concerned about their cardiovascular health to spend this World Heart Day learning about cholesterol. For more information, visit Cholesterol911.com and download the doctor discussion guide to find out what questions to ask to start taking control of your LDL-C.
About the Survey
The research was commissioned by Amgen and conducted by KRC Research, an independent global public opinion research consultancy. A total of 3,236 online surveys were completed by post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients aged 40 or older in 13 different countries. Participating countries included the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, China, South Korea, and Japan. The survey included approximately 250 MI patients from each participating country. Data collection took place from June 21 to July 18, 2019.
About World Heart Day and the World Heart Federation
World Heart Day is a global campaign during which individuals, families, communities and governments around the world participate in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others. Through this campaign, the World Heart Federation unites people from all countries and backgrounds in the fight against the CVD burden, and inspires and drives international action to encourage heart-healthy living across the world. The World Heart Federation works at the international and national levels to build global commitment to address CV health at the policy level, generate and exchange ideas, share best practice, advance scientific knowledge and promote knowledge transfer to tackle CVD.
1. Bhatt DL, et al. JAMA. 2010;304(12):1350-1357.
2. Yusuf S, et al. Lancet. 2004; 364:937-952.
3. Goldstein JL, et al. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2009; 29(4):431-438.
4. Data on File, Amgen; 2019.
5. Gitt A, et al. Atherosclerosis. 2016; 255:200-209.
6. Grundy SM, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018; doi:10.1016/ j.jacc.2018.11.003.
7. World Health Organization. Raised Cholesterol. Available at:https://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/cholesterol_text/en/. Last accessed September 13, 2019.
8. RTI International. Projections of Cardiovascular Disease Prevalence and Costs: 2015–2035. Available at: https://healthmetrics.heart.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Projections-of-Cardiovascular-Disease.pdf. Last accessed September 13, 2019.