Heart Attacks Serve as "Wake-Up" Call for Hispanic Community

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Survey finds that heart attack survivors need support to cope after heart attack.

Our survey indicates that many Hispanics are worried about experiencing another heart attack. By sharing these survey findings with the broader community, we hope to remind Hispanic heart attack survivors that they are not alone and there are many ways they can find information and support to live a healthy life.

San Antonio, TX, March 26, 2007 -- A recent survey conducted by the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) finds that many Hispanic heart attack survivors view their heart attack as a wake-up call and fear having another heart attack more than dying. The survey also shows that nearly one-third of Hispanics surveyed have had more than one heart attack.

But while many of the Hispanic heart attack survivors polled said they are fearful of having another incident, the survey also indicates that many are not taking the proper steps to prevent a future incident or heart disease, which include exercising, healthy eating and taking appropriate heart medications.

"Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in our community, which is why we are so dedicated to raising awareness about this illness," said Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of the NHMA. "Our survey indicates that many Hispanics are worried about experiencing another heart attack. By sharing these survey findings with the broader community, we hope to remind Hispanic heart attack survivors that they are not alone and there are many ways they can find information and support to live a healthy life."

To raise awareness in the Hispanic community of heart disease, the NHMA commissioned the survey of Hispanic heart attack survivors. The survey was conducted by Yankelovich, Inc. and funded and assisted by GlaxoSmithKline. The survey findings are part of the Heartfelt Wake-Up Call campaign, which began on behalf of Mended Hearts, a heart patient organization affiliated with the American Heart Association. The campaign offers heart disease information to better support Hispanic heart attack survivors and their caregivers in coping with life after heart attacks. Additional information including tips sheets, survivor stories and heart-healthy holiday recipes is available on http://www.heartfeltsupport.com and http://www.mendedhearts.org.

Providing information and support to heart attack survivors is important to remaining heart healthy and avoiding a second incident. However, the survey finds that while Hispanics feel they know how to manage their post-heart attack health, more than half want additional information about risk factors for another heart attack (59 percent) and advice about their heart medications (55 percent). To help find more information, patients turn to their doctors (70 percent) and the internet (62 percent) for advice. However, the survey finds that nine out of ten Hispanic heart attack survivors feel they would benefit from advice of others who have had a heart attack.

Speaking with other heart attack survivors is a key component for those Hispanics polled. Along with fear of another heart attack, they also have concerns about other diseases they have been diagnosed with, including high blood pressure (64 percent) as well as high cholesterol (51 percent). In creating a support network of family, doctors, and other survivors, Hispanic heart attack survivors can receive the proper information, and heart medications they need.

About Heart Attacks

Each year in the U.S., nearly 900,000 people suffer from heart attacks, known medically as myocardial infarction. Within only six years, nearly 20 percent of men and 35 percent of women will have another heart attack a risk that is heightened in the winter months.

Heart attacks occur when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is severely reduced or blocked. This narrowing of the coronary vessels is often linked with risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity and obesity. Risk factors may also be associated with family history.

About National Hispanic Medical Association

Established in 1994 in Washington, DC, the National Hispanic Medical Association is a non-profit association representing 36,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States. The mission of the organization is to improve the health of Hispanics and other underserved populations. As a rapidly growing national resource

based in the nation's capital, NHMA provides policymakers and health care providers with expert information

and support in strengthening health service delivery to Hispanic communities across the nation. The NHMA agenda includes expanding access to quality health care, increasing opportunities in medical education, cultural competence, and research for Latinos.

Another focus is policy development and education efforts focused on eliminating health disparities faced by Latinos. In addition, NHMA participates in coalitions with other organizations focused on improving racial/ethnic disparities in health.

About the Survey

TSC, a division of Yankelovich, conducted this online survey on behalf of the National Hispanic Medical Association between August 25 and September 20, 2006 among 501 Hispanic adults aged 18 years or older who have had a heart attack. The sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percent.

About Yankelovich

For more than 30 years, the Yankelovich MONITOR has tracked and forecasted consumer value and lifestyle trends. TSC, a division of Yankelovich, is a full-service custom research division conducting research for business, the media, associations, and government.

The National Hispanic Medical Association wishes to thank GlaxoSmithKline for funding to support this initiative. GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

For more information, visit GSK.com.

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Kathryn Ritzinger
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