Could Texting Play A Role In Preventing A Second Heart Attack?

Whether it's a meeting reminder or a simple greeting to a friend, texting has become one of the most utilized forms of communication in the world. According to The Local Project, over 6 billion texts are sent every day with 81% of Americans texting regularly. Although texting has greatly simplified the way we communicate, there are downsides to receiving messages at any given time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that texting creates the most distraction for drivers and increases the chance of injury and death on the roads.

Not only can texting cause problems on the road, but it can cause issues for our health while we're in the comfort of our homes. Excessive phone use and texting can cause text neck, a term that describes injury that comes from repeated stress on the body, according to Spine Health. Text neck can cause pain in the shoulders, neck, back, poor posture, decreased range of motion, and headaches. However, a new study has shed light on how text messaging can positively impact the health of heart attack patients.

Text reminders improved lifestyle choices in heart attack patients

A study published in the Circulation journal tested the impact of text messaging on heart attack prevention in over 1,400 adults in Australia who had already had one heart attack. Researchers sent text reminders that promoted exercise and healthy eating, explained the use of medications and side effects, and blood pressure and cholesterol targets, according to U.S. News & World Report. Participants who received the text reminders showed improvements in body mass index (BMI), regular exercise, and eating adequate daily amounts of fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Clara Chow, study author, academic director and professor of medicine at Westmead Applied Research Centre, and cardiologist at Westmead Hospital in Sydney said, "Patients reported that messaging reminded them of things they needed to attend to, gave them tips on what they should do, was something they felt was for them and supported them" (via U.S. News & World Report). Although the text reminders improved lifestyle choices in participants, they did not improve the participants' adherence to taking prescribed medications.