Patients who were relatively young and healthy before their attack tend to regain strength more quickly than others. People who had minor heart attacks are also likely to fare well in the long term, especially with prompt treatment. In contrast, patients who lose large chunks of heart muscle may never regain anything close to their previous health.
Quality of care and follow-up
The quality of medical care during recovery has a huge impact on a person's long-term prospects, says Sharonne Hayes, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic's Women's Heart Clinic.
Emotional recovery takes longer
Even when a survivor quickly recovers physically, emotional recovery may be elusive.Kevin Ambrose, 52, of Washington Grove, Md., says that post-heart-attack, he initially avoided certain outings, like golf, because "I was afraid to be too far from an emergency room."