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Heart Attack FAQs

(Answers provided by the Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Practitioners of SDCA)

Will my heart function improve overtime?

In many circumstances – yes. If you take your medications, as prescribed, with titration upward toward goal doses, follow up with your health care provider, enroll in cardiac rehab, practice heart healthy life style behaviors, then the odds are in your favor that your heart function will improve overtime. Learn more about heart attack symptoms in women.

Is it safe for me to have sex after my heart attack?

Patients that have had an uncomplicated heart attack, yes you may resume your usual sexual activity within several days. If you are able to walk briskly for 3-5 minutes, or walk up 2 flights of stairs without chest pain or shortness of breath, it is considered safe to resume sexual activity. For patients that have had congestive heart failure associated with their heart attack, it is best practice to enroll in cardiac rehab, and once you do not have symptoms with low levels of exercise, it is considered safe to resume your usual sexual activity.

Why is a maximum dose of "statin" (usually atorvastatin) being prescribed for me after a heart attack or acute coronary syndrome when my cholesterol is not even that high?

High dose statin (atorvastatin) use after heart attack or acute coronary syndrome has been found to decrease cardiovascular ischemic events for at least 16 weeks following the event, despite cholesterol levels.