Fa­tal heart at­tacks at his­toric low of 12%

The Buffalo News - - NATIONAL NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON – Al­though heart dis­ease re­mains the lead­ing cause of death in the United States, chances of dy­ing of a heart at­tack are now at a “his­toric low” of 12 per­cent. That’s down by more than a third since 1995, ac­cord­ing to a new Yale study that an­a­lyzed two decades of data on about 4.4 mil­lion Medi­care pa­tients hos­pi­tal­ized with heart at­tacks, in­clud­ing deaths within 30 days of heart at­tacks.

The study also re­ports that “an in­creas­ingly smaller num­ber of peo­ple” are hav­ing heart at­tacks – hos­pi­tal­iza­tions for a heart at­tack have de­clined by 38 per­cent since the mid-1990s. Hos­pi­tal read­mis­sions and re­peat heart at­tacks also are oc­cur­ring less of­ten, the re­searchers found.

They at­tribute the de­clines in part to im­proved speed of care for heart at­tack vic­tims, which means get­ting blocked ar­ter­ies open much faster. They also note that in­creased em­pha­sis on lifestyle changes – such as health­ier eat­ing to lower choles­terol and more ex­er­cise to con­trol blood pres­sure – may have played a role in the im­proved statis­tics.

– Wash­ing­ton Post

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