Hospital heart attack deaths plummet

Thanks to improved treatments, including more-frequent angioplasties and effective drug use, the number of hospitalized heart attack victims who die or experience severe heart failure has dropped almost in half over the last six years. This is the conclusion drawn by an international group of researchers, who looked at heart attack care in 14 countries. The study, which is being published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that compared with six years ago, there were 39 fewer deaths and 90 fewer patients who had new heart failures for every 1,000 admitted patients. This includes a substantial drop in the percentage of death rates from severe heart attacks, from 8.4 percent to 4.5 percent, over the course of the study. Study authors said the reduced death and injury rates have been triggered by a combination of treatments, including the use of balloon angioplasty, as well as drugs such as aspirin, statins, anticlotting drugs, blood thinners and ACE inhibitors.

To learn more about this research:
- read this piece from The Boston Globe