Friday, October 19, 2012

Huge fall in deadly heart attacks (UK)

Heart attack deaths have halved in less than a decade, according to a major study of over 800,000 patients in England. The research has been extensively reported, with news sources suggesting a range of possible reasons, such as better treatments and a reduction in numbers of people smoking. As the study itself points out, many developed countries have seen reductions in heart-related death over the last 40 years, but it is unclear whether the trend is due to better treatment following a heart attack or steps designed to prevent heart attacks in the first place. This new study found that in England the death rate from heart attacks halved between 2002 and 2010. The researchers calculated that just over half this decline was caused by fewer people having heart attacks and just under half by more people who had heart attacks surviving. The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Oxford's Department of Public Health. The individual authors were funded by various institutions, including the Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation. Part of the research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research. The study was published in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal. Newspapers generally covered the research accurately and appropriately

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