Heart Attacks Down Sharply, Study Finds
24% Decline in Heart Attack Hospitalizations in California Population Since 2000
Trend Among Uninsured Unknown
Harlan Krumholz, MD, of Yale University Medical Center, calls the large decline in heart attack hospitalizations over the past decade “nothing short of amazing,” but he adds that the growing number of new cases of obesity and diabetes in the U.S. are ominous signs for the future.
Krumholz was principal investigator of the Medicare study reported earlier this spring, which showed a 23% decline in heart attack hospitalizations among elderly Medicare beneficiaries between 2002 and 2007.
“If obesity and diabetes continue to rise, I fear these declines won’t be sustained for very long,” he says. “For now, though, it is clear that something important is going on in cardiovascular medicine.”
Carnethon adds that heart attack incidence has probably not declined as much among uninsured people with little access to preventive care.
“The people in these studies were all insured,” she says. “I would guess that we would not see the same pattern of decline in people without health insurance.”