Montika Bush, PhD
Maintenance with Guideline Recommended Risk Reduction Therapies after a Heart Attack
Over 800,000 Americans have a heart attack each year. While most people do not die from their heart attack, they are more likely to have future heart-related health problems. After a heart attack, patients may be prescribed up to four different medications and referred to cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs to reduce the risk of future heart attacks. CR programs include supervised physical activity, education and counseling. Prior research has described medication use and CR participation separately with summary values within a few months of a patient’s heart attack. A more detailed description of how people start and continue to use these prevention activities jointly in the years after a heart attack is needed. This study will use information from Medicare insurance records to produce unique flow diagrams to create a picture of medication use and CR participation over the two years following a heart attack. Diagrams will also denote when people die or are hospitalized during follow-up. Diagrams for specific groups (e.g., men and women) will also be produced to illustrate differences in heart attack recovery activities. Diagrams from this study will establish a foundation for future research to improve health after a heart attack. This work could also help health care teams offer useful and well-timed treatment adjustments for those who have had a heart attack.
I am grateful for the opportunity the PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Grant in Health Outcomes Research provides for me at the outset of my research career. This award allows me to apply my expertise with analyzing large administrative datasets to conduct publishable research for the benefit of patients’ recovery after a cardiovascular event. The award is an appreciated catalyst in reaching my career goal of becoming an independent principal investigator in academic medicine.