Attending ‘heart school’ could halve mortality after first-time myocardial infarction


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Attending heart school during cardiac rehabilitation is associated with almost halved all-cause and cardiovascular mortality after first-time myocardial infarction (MI), suggests new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

In Sweden, almost every patient is invited to attend heart school after a first-time MI. Core components of the heart school are individual counselling and group sessions focused on lifestyle-related and modifiable risks.

In this latest study, researchers estimated the association of attending heart school with both all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, two and five years after admission for first-time MI using linked population registries. The study included 47,907 patients who had their first MI in 2006-2015 and subsequently went to the first cardiac rehabilitation follow-up visit. 

The study found attending heart school was associated with a markedly lower risk of both all-cause (two-year hazard ratio [HR] 0.53; 95% CI 0.44-0.64; five-year HR 0.62; 95% CI 0.55-0.69) and cardiovascular (HR 0.50; 95% CI 0.38-0.65 and HR 0.57; 95% CI 0.47-0.69) mortality. The results were consistent across several sensitivity analyses. 

The authors said the findings warrant further investigation through adequately powered randomised trials.