HEART DEATH DROP
ANCHOR LEAD: DEATHS DUE TO HEART DISEASE HAVE DECLINED A LOT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Deaths due to coronary artery disease have declined almost forty percent in recent decades, an analysis published in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine revealed. Rick Lange, chief of clinical cardiology at Johns Hopkins, says some of that decline is due to changes in lifestyle factors such as smoking and diet, but the other half was due to improved interventions.
LANGE: The major interventions are those related to treating people that come in with a heart attack, that is, opening the artery up immediately using drugs or using an angioplasty procedure, that is one of the new advances. The second is many new medications are now known to be effective. Aspirin wasnít known to be effective twenty years ago, we now know itís effective. The use of a group of drugs called ACE inhibitors in people that have heart failure and the use of beta blockers in people who have had heart disease, and then lastly, the use of bypass surgery and angioplasty to open arteries up. :28
Lange warns that the improvements may soon be reversed with the increase in diabetes and obesity. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.