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American Heart Association 2008 Wrap-Up Report: Top Research Advances Include Studies That Influence Medical Care, Apply Science To 'Real World' Communities
Date:1/21/2009

initiative. In Scotland, after smoke-free legislation covering all enclosed places was implemented, hospital admissions for acute coronary syndrome decreased by 17 percent. This compared with only a 4 percent decrease in England, where there was no such legislation. The decrease in Scotland was highest in never-smokers, but there was also a smaller decrease in former smokers. Smokers had the lowest decrease, but still saw a 14 percent decline. A total of 67 percent of the decrease in hospital admissions involved nonsmokers, supporting the argument that protection for these individuals is an important benefit of this legislation, and that it should be extended more broadly.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, July 31, 2008; N Engl J Med 2008; 359; 482-49. www.nejm.org.

Funding: Supported by a National Health Service Health Scotland project grant and salary support from the British Heart Foundation.

2. The acute care of patients with heart attack or stroke: Can we do better?

Hospital treatment of patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack using the "Get With The Guidelines" program; An organized approach to improvement in guideline adherence for acute myocardial infarction

Because evidence-based therapy to improve heart attack and stroke outcomes was not being uniformly delivered in hospitals across the country, quality improvement programs were developed. Their goal was to facilitate the work of physicians and other healthcare providers, and ensure that each patient receives the appropriate therapy. More than one million patients have now been treated with the assistance of one of these programs, the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines (GWTG), and the effect of these programs on delivered care is now being reported. Two studies, evaluating the GWTG: St
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