Heart attack deaths halved in less than 10 years in UK
The number of deaths in the UK that are the result of heart attacks have halved in almost a decade, researchers have discovered.
A review of NHS data revealed that between 2002 and 2010 the number of men who died after a heart attack was reduced by 50 percent, while the figure for women fell by 53 percent.
Experts believe this is the result of improved aftercare for heart attack patients along with efforts to encourage people to stop smoking, reduce cholesterol and control high blood pressure.
To coincide with this dramatic reduction of heart attack deaths, the numbers of people suffering from a heart attack has fallen too.
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Commenting on the reduction in heart attacks and their subsequent deaths, the medical director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Professor Peter Weissberg, 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.
“But far too many heart attack victims still die from a cardiac arrest before medical help arrives.
“Many of these deaths could be prevented by rapid cardiopulmonary resuscitation,” Weissberg added.
He is referring to the ‘hand-only’ CPR technique which is currently being promoted by the BHF in a campaign fronted by former footballer Vinnie Jones.
To carry out the investigation the team of researchers, from the Department of Public Health at Oxford, analysed data relating to heart attacks in England from 2002 to 2010.
Overall they looked at the death rates from 840,000 heart attacks and took into account deaths that happened immediately after an attack and those in the following 30 days.
The results of the study, which was funded by the BHF, have been published in the British Medical Journal.
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