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Northeast Is Safest Place for Heart Attack

Risk of Death After Chest Pain or Heart Attack Lowest in Northeast

WebMD Health News

May 17, 2004 -- The Northeast may be the safest place in the country to have a heart attack or chest pain, according to a new study.

Researchers found the risk of death after chest pain or heart attack is lowest in the Northeast compared with other regions in the U.S.

The study found the overall death rate after heart attack or chest pain was highest in the Midwest (4.6%) and lowest in the Northeast (3.5%). But researchers say the variation can't be immediately explained by differences in drug use or other treatments.

Heart Death Rates Vary By Region

In the study, researchers analyzed the outcomes for more than 50,000 people treated in 301 hospitals for unstable angina (persistent chest pain) and heart attacks.

They found that compared with the Northeast, the odds of dying after being treated for heart attack were 40% higher in the West, 42% higher in the Midwest, and 33% higher in the South.

Rates of common heart procedures performed to restore blood flow to hearts from clogged arteries, such as balloon angioplasty and bypass surgery, were similar in all four regions. However, early use of drugs such as beta-blockers to treat heart disease victims was significantly lower in the South.

The results of the study were presented this week at the American Heart Association's 5th annual Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Washington, D.C.

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