Living alone after heart attack can be risky New Delhi, April 7, 2017: "Living alone after a heart attack increases the chances of death in the next four years. Heart patients are more prone to depression and mental health issues making family and social support crucial," said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and National President IMA. Citing a recent study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, Dr KK Aggarwal further added that the chances of death one year after a heart attack was roughly the same for individuals living alone compared to those living with someone else. However, patients who lived alone had 35% greater risk of death at four years after the heart attack. “Social support greatly influences the outcome of an illness. It not only enhances physical health but also mental health. Family support, including that of their friends, helps these patients to recover and lead a good quality life”, said Dr RN Tandon, Honorary Secretary General IMA. Lack of social support in people who live alone hampers their recovery. They do not have the assistance they need to take their medicines, the motivation to follow the prescribed exercise regime, and keep up with follow-up visits to their doctor.