and Medicine for Seniors
Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke Have Plunged in Last Decade
Rates declined more for these
conditions than for any others; improved lifestyle, quality of care and
prevention strategies contributed to the decrease.
Drop in Hospitalizations
Unstable Angina -83.8%
Heart Failure -30.5%
Ischemic Stroke -33.6%
Aug. 20, 2014 - U.S. hospitalizations and deaths
dropped significantly in the last decade, according to new research in
the American Heart Association journal
“Interestingly, these improvements
happened in a period when there were no real ‘miracle’ clinical
advancements,” said Harlan Krumholz, M.D., S.M., lead author of the
“most comprehensive report card to-date” on America’s progress in
heart disease and
stroke prevention and treatment.
“Rather, we saw consistent
improvements in the use of evidence-based treatments and medications and
an increase in
quality improvement initiatives
using registries and other data to track performance and support
improvement efforts — as well as a strong emphasis on heart-healthy
lifestyles and behaviors.”
Researchers collected data on
nearly 34 million Medicare Fee-For-Service recipients in 1999-2011. They
analyzed trends in rates of hospitalization, dying within a month of
being admitted, being admitted again within a month and dying during the
following year. They considered patient factors including age, sex,
race, other illnesses and geography.
By the end of 2011, hospitalization
rates among all races and areas dropped:
38 percent for
83.8 percent for
sudden chest pain often leading to heart attack;
30.5 percent for
33.6 percent for
Furthermore, risks of dying for
people who went to the hospital within a year decreased about 21 percent
for unstable angina, 23 percent for heart attacks and 13 percent for
heart failure and stroke.
“Huge strides in lifestyle, quality
of care and prevention strategies for cardiovascular health have seemed
to have a ripple effect on saving lives,” said Krumholz, director of the
Center of Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Yale-New Haven Hospital in
New Haven, Conn.
“As a result, our country has
undergone remarkable changes, which has reduced suffering and costs.”
Other significant contributions
included improvements in identifying and treating
a rapid rise in the use of
marked declines in
and more timely and
appropriate treatment for heart
attack patients, he said.
“There is still more work to do as
heart disease and stroke combined remain the leading cause of death and
disability, but this study documents astonishing progress and national
achievement,” Krumholz said.
Co-authors are Sharon-Lise Normand,
Ph.D. and Yun Wang, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute supported the study.
More at American