Saturday, May 15, 2010
Fewer Ontarians dying of heart disease
"The rate of deaths related to heart disease decreased by 35 per cent in Ontario between 1994 and 2005 due to improvements in lifestyle factors and medical treatments, a new population study shows. Improvements in traditional risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure were responsible for about half of the reduction in deaths, while new medical and surgical treatments were associated with 43 percent of the decrease. "Identifying the underlying factors associated with this decline is critical for planning future health policy and prioritizing strategies for prevention," says Dr. Harindra Wijeysundera, interventional cardiologist at the Schulich Heart Centre and lead author of the study. Although a reductions in smoking and inactivity each played an important role in the decline in CHD related deaths, the biggest difference came from a reduction in cholesterol levels and blood pressure - each representing about 20 percent of overall reductions in death. The most important change regarding new medical and surgical treatments was the number of patients taking appropriate medications."