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Intensive MI programme cuts risk of second attack

An intensive, long-term, secondary prevention programme lasting up to three years after cardiac rehabilitation appears to reduce risk of a second non-fatal heart attack, Italian researchers report.

After standard rehabilitation, 3,200 patients who had suffered a heart attack were randomly assigned to the long-term educational and behavioural intervention - in which they received tailored one-on-one support monthly for six months, then once every six months for three years - or usual care.

There was no significant reduction in the risk of combined heart events but there was a significant drop in the incidence of individual heart events, including a 48% reduction in non-fatal heart attack.

Archives of Internal Medicine 2008;168:2194-204

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