Number of patients dying from heart attacks halved
Published on 26 January 2012 12:30 PM
Better hospital care and efforts to improve the nation's health have helped cut the number of people dying from heart attacks by half in just under a decade.
That is according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Department of Public Health at Oxford.
The team examined more than 840,000 people in England admitted to hospital for a heart attack, or who died suddenly from one, and assessed the total death rate as well as the number dying within 30 days of an attack.
Results showed that the death rate fell by about half across the period between 2002 to 2010, with a 50% drop in men and a 53% drop in women.
The researchers said just over half of the decline in deaths could be attributed to a fall in the number of new heart attacks, while just under half was due to a decline in the death rate following heart attack.
Overall, 61% of the people who experienced a heart attack were men, 36% of heart attacks resulted in death and 73% occurred in those aged 65 and over.
The study cited efforts to cut smoking, manage high blood pressure and high cholesterol as having helped cut the number of people suffering an attack.
Also recognised was improvement in the hospital care of those who did suffer an attack. Researchers believe this has contributed to a fall in the overall number dying.
The researchers, writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), analysed data for England throughout the eight-year period.
Copyright Press Association 2012