LifeLineScreening - February 3, 2012
A recent study published by the British Medical Journal has found the number of fatal heart attacks has reduced by 50% over the past 10 years. Researchers from Oxford University found that the rate of heart attacks and subsequent death rate was most reduced among the middle-aged of the 80,000 men and women that took part.
Broader factors to impact this reduction include the significant advancement in medical technology. Better health services such as the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease, coupled with a faster and more effective emergency response are improving the survival rate of those who experience a myocardial infarction and angina. Fewer cases of chronic heart conditions have also been attributed to the effort made by people to lead a healthier lifestyle, for example, eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking and leading a more active lifestyle.
However, despite the overall decreasing trend, the study found that these benefits are being countered by rising obesity and diabetes among the younger generations.
Significant events were also found to impact the frequency and severity of heart attacks, namely the financial crisis, whereby the reported number of fatal heart attacks in the London financial district jumped between 2007 and 2009.
Medical Director Professor Pete Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation noted that although some of these findings are encouraging, “the incidents of deaths from heart attacks still occur in high numbers” and as such, public awareness campaigns will be invaluable in encouraging further decline.