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Top 10 Heart-Stroke Advances for 2008
Date:1/30/2009

AHA says research looked at smoking bans, acute care, diabetes control and childhood obesity

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Studies on smoking bans, acute care of heart attack and stroke patients, diabetes control and childhood obesity were among the top 10 major advances in heart disease and stroke research in 2008, according to the American Heart Association.

"It's always difficult to choose from among such a broad array of new discoveries," AHA President Dr. Timothy Gardner said in an AHA news release. "This year, we included not only novel work in fundamental or basic science, but also important clinical studies that we believe will influence medical care in the future. In addition, we have chosen a number of studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of science applied in the real world, from hospitals to schools to whole communities. These implementation studies are of increasing importance as we try to determine how best to translate basic and clinical science for the benefit of the public."

The top 10 for 2008 were:

  • A Scottish study found hospital admissions for acute coronary syndrome decreased by 17 percent after smoking was banned in all enclosed places. Sixty-seven percent of the decrease occurred among never-smokers, while former and current smokers accounted for the remainder of the decrease.
  • Two studies concluded that participation in quality improvement programs substantially improved hospitals' acute care of heart attack and stroke patients. The studies examined the stroke and coronary disease modules of the AHA's Get With the Guidelines program, designed to ensure that heart attack and stroke patients received appropriate therapy.
  • A 10-year follow-up study of drug-based intensive glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes found a significant reduction in heart attacks and deaths from any cause. This reinforces the importance of good glucose control
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