Harvard Heart Letter

5 things you need to do after a heart attack

Your recovery after a heart attack doesn't end when you leave the hospital. To protect your heart over the long term, follow these steps.

Having a heart attack is life-altering experience. More than likely, you'll spend the days and weeks after your discharge from the hospital flooded with new information on your heart health and medical care. You'll also be learning to cope with your identity as a heart attack survivor.

Although everything may feel up in the air at this point, there are some pivotal steps you can take during this period that will both hasten your recovery and protect your heart health over the long term, says Dr. Patrick O'Gara, cardiologist at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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