Monday, December 3, 2007

Youngsters Under 60: Save Yourselves!

Most Americans know that we have made much progress in decreasing rates of heart attack in recent decades. Indeed, modern insights and medicines have produced an overall 50% decrease in heart attack deaths since 1980. Are we, however, maintaining that decrease appropriately in more recent years. Recent data say "NO."

Specifically, among men between 35-54, the annual decrease in heart attack deaths has slowed from 6.2% (1980 to 1989) to 2.3% (1989 to 2000) to 0.5% (2000 to 2002). Among women age 35-54, the decline was 5.4% from 1980 to 1989 and 1.2% from 1989 to 2000. From 2000 to 2002, however, the estimated death rate increased to 1.5% annually. By contrast, for men and women 55 and older, the rate of decrease accelerated comfortably with time.

Overall then, modern preventative cardiology is working for older patients; for the young, however, especially young women, we need to pay more attention. Loyal Bloggers know what preventative steps to take from our prior posts - so spread the word so that the young can stay "young at heart."

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