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Award for research into heart attacks

Medical doctor Morten Schmidt from AU and AUH has just received a Young Investigator Award at the largest cardiology congress in the world, which this year took place in London with over 32,000 participants. He receives the award for being among the four best in the category Population Sciences.

Each year, approximately 8,000 Danes suffer a heart attack for the first time – and more than 500 of these people are under the age of 50. When someone suffers a heart attack (also called a mycardial infarction), the flow of blood through the heart ceases partially or entirely. This is typically due to a blood clot in one of the coronary arteries in the heart. In the worst cases, a heart attack develops into a cardiac arrest.

Morten Schmidt conducts research into the long-term prognosis for patients who have suffered a heart attack before they reach the age of 50. He examines how these heart patients manage during a thirty-year period after the attack. At the end of August, he received a Young Investigator Award at the European Society of Cardiology's (ESC) congress in London, which is the largest cardiology congress in the world, with more than 32,000 participants and more than 11,000 submitted studies from 100 different countries. The award was made to Morten Schmidt for being among the four best in the category Population Sciences.

"It’s a great honour to receive an award at the leading cardiology congress. It gives me inspiration to continue my research, so that we can become even better to help the patients who are affected by a heart attack," says Morten Schmidt.

He also received the accompanying EUR 1,000 cash award.

More patients survive

Long-term survival among patients under the age of 50 who suffer a heart attack has increased significantly over the last three decades, and is now close to the level of the rest of the population.

"But even though the risk of dying is low once patients have survived the first critical year after the heart attack, it’s still twice as high as the risk seen in the rest of the population. The patients have a sustained increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease or smoking-related diseases. It’s therefore crucial that they take their medication and, at the same time, focus on a healthy lifestyle, where the key is to quit smoking, lose weight and to exercise," says Morten Schmidt.

Further information

MD, PhD Morten Schmidt
Aarhus University, Department of Clinical Medicine and
Aarhus University Hospital, Department of Clinical Epidemiology