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Late Treatment Often Delays Return-to-Work for Heart Attack Patients

When persons who suffer a heart attack do not receive treatment immediately, they are much more likely to return to work later, and also frequently must enter into an early retirement. Those findings come from research that was recently presented at the Acute Cardiac Care Congress.

According to the Congress, delays from the time a call has been made to emergency medical services to when treatment is received, can lead to an increase in mortality and heart failure after a myocardial infarction.

Until now, researchers have not been able to tell whether delayed treatment had any real and tangible effect on return to work after treatment. The researchers decided to investigate this particular area because a delayed return to work, or a premature retirement after heart attack, is often financially disastrous for patients.

In the analysis, researchers found that a large proportion of people who did suffer from myocardial infarction managed to return to their job within four years. However, as many as 40% of the patients had their return to work delayed. After eight years, people who suffered from a long system delay, and had delayed treatment for their condition, had a 21% increase in retirement rate.

These data emphasize the need for social security disability benefits after a heart attack or other injury that precludes a person from working. And more importantly, it illustrates that disability benefits should be filed for as soon as possible.