Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

National Study Suggests Heart Attack Severity May Be Declining

Date:
March 25, 1999
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
The severity of heart attacks in the United States is apparently declining, a Wake Forest University School of Medicine researcher told the American Heart Association. Possible reasons for the decline include increased preventive measures and better treatment for heart attacks.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The severity of heart attacks in the United States is apparently declining, a Wake Forest University School of Medicine researcher told the American Heart Association today. Possible reasons for the decline include increased preventive measures and better treatment for heart attacks.

David C. Goff Jr., M.D., Ph.D., said results from previous analyses of the long-running Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study show that both in-hospital and out-of-hospital coronary heart disease mortality decreased between 1987 and 1994, paralleling national and international statistics.

Goff, associate professor of public health sciences (epidemiology) focused his analysis on whether severity of heart attacks was declining.

He told the Heart Association's Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in Orlando that analysis of a number of heart attack indicators supports the contention that the average size of the infarct -- the area of heart muscle damaged by the heart attack -- decreased over the study period. The smaller the affected area, the smaller the resulting disability.

"These changes may be due to preventive efforts or to improvements in acute treatments," he said. "Primary prevention efforts, like blood pressure and cholesterol control, may have led to lower severity of heart attacks when heart attacks occur."

The widely reported ARIC cohort study involves about 16,000 randomly selected participants in Forsyth County, N.C., Jackson, Miss., Hagerstown, Md. and suburban Minneapolis, Minn. But a second community surveillance component of ARIC involves complete recording of all heart attacks and coronary heart disease mortality in each ARIC community.

Goff studied records of patients between ages 35 and 74 in the ARIC communities who had definite or probable heart attacks between Jan. 1, 1987, and Dec. 31, 1994. Of the 8,807 cases, he focused on 4903 first heart attacks. Of these, 71.7 percent met the criteria for a definite (as opposed to a probable) heart attack. But that percentage actually was decreasing over the course of the study.

During the study, two of three indicators that were based on the electrocardiograms showed an increase in severity.

However, a different kind of measure based on enzymes in the blood that confirm heart attacks showed declining severity, despite the development of more sensitive measurements.

A third kind of measure, based on whether patients had an abnormal pulse rate, or had an abnormally low systolic blood pressure (the first number of the two in the typical blood pressure statement), showed little change.

Thus, he said, the results from the severity indicators "are somewhat inconsistent," but as a whole, they point to a lessening in the severity of hospitalized heart attack patients.

He said the findings support the combined roles of preventive efforts and acute medical care in reducing coronary heart disease mortality.

"Continued commitment of resources to research and development in these areas, to the implementation of new knowledge into medical practice and to the monitoring of these trends through high quality surveillance activities is justified in the ongoing effort to reduce the human suffering and financial burden associated with coronary heart disease in the United States," Goff said.

"Some of these prevention efforts are paying off."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "National Study Suggests Heart Attack Severity May Be Declining." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990325053544.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (1999, March 25). National Study Suggests Heart Attack Severity May Be Declining. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990325053544.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "National Study Suggests Heart Attack Severity May Be Declining." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990325053544.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins