Monday, February 13, 2012
Heart attack rates down by 50% in the UK
National Health Service data shows mortality rate at half the 2002 level, with fewer people smoking and better NHS care contributing factors. The number of people dying from a heart attack has halved in the last decade, with falling rates of smoking, greater use of statins to lower cholesterol, and better NHS care thought to be behind the fall. Fewer people in England are suffering a heart attack, and fewer of those who do are dying as a result, according to research by Oxford University reported in the British Medical Journal. They used official NHS data on hospital admissions and mortality to study 840,175 men and women who between them had 861,134 heart attacks between 2002 and 2010. Overall, mortality rates among men fell by 50% and among women by 53%. The steepest falls in heart attacks were noted among middle-aged people. Rising rates of diabetes and obesity among younger people is thought to lie behind their not seeing the same dramatic drop. Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, which funded the study, said: "This impressive fall in death rates is due partly to prevention of heart attacks by better management of risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol and due partly to better treatment of heart attack patients when they reach hospital."