African-Americans who have suffered a heart attack consider their experience a “wake-up call” that leads to reevaluating priorities, growing closer to faith and recognizing the importance of strong heart health behaviors, according to new survey findings announced today by the National Medical Association (NMA).

While a majority of those surveyed view their heart attack as a second chance at life, the results surprisingly indicate that nearly 30 percent of African-Americans state they are not doing everything they can to avoid another heart attack. In fact, according to the survey findings, 27 percent of African-Americans do not take their heart medications exactly as prescribed by their physicians after their heart attack.

Approximately half of the heart attack survivor’s surveyed report there is not enough information available about preventing future heart attacks or what to do after having one. Many of those polled feel that speaking to another heart attack survivor could provide much needed information. Overall, the survey finds that while African-American heart attack survivors look at their heart attack as a wake-up call, they lack information to prevent a second incident.

“When we look at the percentage of the African-American population that suffer heart attacks and the resulting death rate, when compared to other ethnic groups, we see a clear disparity which illustrates a significant need for education and support initiatives for heart health within our community,” stated Albert W. Morris, Jr., M.D., president of the NMA. “The National Medical Association through the ‘Heartfelt Wake-Up Call’ campaign hopes to create a community amongst survivors and provide additional information to these survivors and to embrace and support their efforts to live a heart healthy life after a heart attack and to prevent another from occurring.”

To raise awareness in the African-American community, the NMA commissioned the survey of African-American heart attack survivors, conducted by Yankelovich, Inc. and funded and assisted by GlaxoSmithKline. The initiative is part of the “Heartfelt Wake-Up Call” campaign, started in 2005 by Mended Hearts, a heart patient organization affiliated with the American Heart Association. The campaign offers information to better support African-American heart attack survivors and their caregivers cope with life after a heart attack. Additional information including tips sheets, survivor stories and heart-healthy recipes is available on and