Navigation Links
U.S. Heart Attacks Becoming Less Severe
Date:1/19/2009

Better control of blood pressure, other factors may be boosting survival, experts say

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- First-time heart attacks in the United States aren't as deadly now as they have been in past decades, a long-running study finds.

"We know that deaths from heart disease are going down," said Dr. Merle Meyerson, director of the cardiovascular disease prevention program at Columbia University's St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, and lead author of a report in the Jan. 20 issue of Circulation. "One reason why is that heart attacks are less severe. People are not coming in with these massive heart attacks that are killing them."

The study, with data on more than 10,000 first heart attacks that occurred in four widely separated U.S. areas, found only a marginal decrease in the heart attack death rate -- from 5.3 percent in 1987 to 3.8 percent in 2002. That is of only "borderline statistical significance," Meyerson said.

But analysis of 20 indicators of severity -- such as the damage-indicating changes seen in electrocardiograms, or biomarker molecules released by damaged heart tissue -- show a clear trend toward lowered severity, she said.

For example, heart attacks with elevations in the ST-designated portion of the ECG, an indicator of severe damage, were seen in 27.7 percent of attacks in 1987 and 20.9 percent in 2002, an average reduction of 1.9 percent per year.

The percentage of cases of cardiogenic shock, in which the heart is so damaged that it cannot pump blood to the body, decreased by 5.7 percent per year, while the percentage of cases with abnormal biomarkers such as creatine kinase or troponin decreased by a modest, but statistically significant, 0.7 percent a year.

The finding comes from the ongoing Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, done in North Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota and Mississippi. It includes rural, city and suburban areas, so the findings show what is happening all over the country, Meyerson said.

It's not clear why the decrease has occurred, she said. "It could be better preventive measures, reducing risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity, or it could be better treatment in the hospitals," she sad. "While this study doesn't say it, it points to some influence from both. We need more research to answer the question."

One factor that does not seem to have improved is public awareness of the symptoms of a heart attack and the need to call for medical help quickly, Meyerson said. "The time to get to the hospital after symptoms begin has not improved," she said. There was no significant change in the percentage of people who arrived at a hospital less than two hours after the onset of symptoms -- about one in every three cases.

Most people do know that crushing chest pain is a clear warning signal, but "it's not always crushing pain," Meyerson said. "It can be a feeling of indigestion or shortness of breath, lightheadedness or discomfort in another part of the body."

When there is uncertainty, it is better to act than to do nothing, she said. "If you are having chest pain with exertion, chest pain that comes and goes, with shortness of breath, it is always best to call for help or go to the hospital if you are near one," she added.

Medical authorities say it is best to call for help by dialing 911. Emergency medical personnel can arrive in minutes and begin treatment immediately.

"This study offers an opportunity to get the message out," said Dr. Alice K. Jacobs, a professor of medicine at Boston University and past president of the American Heart Association. "If you get to the hospital faster, the chance of a better outcome is improved. That is an important message for the public."

More information

There's more on heart attack symptoms at the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Merle Meyerson, M.D., director, cardiovascular disease prevention program, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, New York City; Alice K. Jacobs, M.D., professor, medicine, Boston University; Jan. 20, 2009, Circulation


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Drug for cluster headaches may cause heart problems
2. Use of certain lipid measures not more effective in predicting coronary heart disease
3. Restricting Blood Flow May Help Heart Bypass Patients
4. Urban Smog Tough on Young Adults Hearts
5. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
6. Vitamin Es lack of heart benefit linked to dosage
7. Drug That Lowers Resting Heart Rate Being Tested
8. Heart Attack Boosts Diabetes Risk
9. Embryonic Stem Cells Repair Human Heart
10. U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage
11. Embryonic Human Stem Cells May Help Repair Heart Muscle, Lab Study Shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
U.S. Heart Attacks Becoming Less Severe
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a ... the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who ... , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme ... “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was ... other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of ... Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and ... other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, affiliated ... Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. , ... most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He stands ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) sponsors Luke’s ... June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. ... helping service members that have been wounded in battle and their families. Venture Construction ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016  MedSource ... platform as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  ... the best possible value to their clients by ... nowEDC.  The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the ... pricing for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  In a startling report released today, National Safety Council ... a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. ... states are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... the 28 failing states, three – Michigan , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: