Background: Although preventive drug therapy is a priority after acute coronary syndrome, less is known about adherence to behavioral recommendations. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of adherence to behavioral recommendations in the short term on risk of cardiovascular events.
Methods and results: The study population included 18 809 patients from 41 countries enrolled in the Organization to Assess Strategies in Acute Ischemic Syndromes (OASIS) 5 randomized clinical trial. At the 30-day follow-up, patients reported adherence to diet, physical activity, and smoking cessation. Cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular death) and all-cause mortality were documented to 6 months. About one third of smokers persisted in smoking. Adherence to neither diet nor exercise recommendations was reported by 28.5%, adherence to either diet or exercise by 41.6%, and adherence to both by 29.9%. In contrast, 96.1% of subjects reported antiplatelet use, 78.9% reported statin use, and 72.4% reported angiotensin-converting enzyme/angiotensin receptor blocker use. Quitting smoking was associated with a decreased risk of myocardial infarction compared with persistent smoking (odds ratio, 0.57; 95% confidence interval, 0.36 to 0.89). Diet and exercise adherence was associated with a decreased risk of myocardial infarction compared with nonadherence (odds ratio, 0.52; 95% confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.69). Patients who reported persistent smoking and nonadherence to diet and exercise had a 3.8-fold (95% confidence interval, 2.5 to 5.9) increased risk of myocardial infarction/stroke/death compared with never smokers who modified diet and exercise.
Conclusions: Adherence to behavioral advice (diet, exercise, and smoking cessation) after acute coronary syndrome was associated with a substantially lower risk of recurrent cardiovascular events. These findings suggest that behavioral modification should be given priority similar to other preventive medications immediately after acute coronary syndrome. Clinical Trial Registration Information- URL: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00139815. Unique identifier: NCT00139815.