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Hospitalization Rates for Coronary Artery Disease Decline in the,U.S.

EVANSTON, Ill., March 20, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD) appears to be shifting away from the inpatient setting, according to a study published today in The American Journal of Cardiology.

U.S. hospitalization rates for heart attacks (acute myocardial infarctions) declined 10.6 percent from 2002 to 2005, possibly due to broader use of preventive treatments such as statin drugs and aspirin, as well as declines in risk factors like smoking.

The study is a collaboration between researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School and Solucient, part of Thomson Healthcare, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.

"Although there was an expectation that the aging U.S. population would cause an increased need for inpatient care of patients with cardiovascular disease, the reality is that changes in treatment may be causing a shift to the outpatient setting," said Janet Young, M.D., a senior scientist at Solucient. "This trend has important implications for hospitals and health systems and their allocation of resources."

    Researchers found that:

     - Hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) decreased

       steadily from 661,000 in 2002 to 591,000 in 2005 -- a decline from 309

       to 266 per 100,000 persons. This was driven by a decrease in the more

       severe transmural form of AMI from 118 to 87 per 100,000.

     - Hospitalization rates for coronary revascularization declined from 382

       to 358 per 100,000 persons from 2002 to 2005 -- largely due to a

       decrease in coronary artery bypass surgeries from 258,000 to 209,000

       per year.

     - During this period, inpatient use of less-invasive revascularization

       treatments known as percutaneous coronary interventions -- including

       the use of balloon angioplasty and stents administered via cardiac

       catheterization -- increased from 5
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