Better management improves survival rates of heart attack victims

January 29th, 2009 - 11:38 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 29 (IANS) Better management practices have improved survival rates of heart attack victims, according to a study based on nearly 4,500 such cases. Researchers followed the outcomes for 12 years of 4,451 patients hospitalised during 1984-87, 1988-90 and 1991-93. Changes in the management of these patients probably continuously cut down mortality from coronary heart disease.

The study was co-authored by research fellow Tom Briffa of The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) School of Population Health.

The use of proven medical treatment, such as B-blockers and revascularisation surgery within 12 months of hospital admission accounted for the greatest improvement of survival over 12 years, the authors claimed.

Only patients who survived 28 days after a heart attack were included in the long-term, Perth-based study. Participants were aged from 35 to 64. Overall, 18 percent were women, 10 percent had a history of diabetes, 51 percent were current smokers, and 40 percent had a history of high blood pressure, according to an UWA release.

Improvements in long-term survival are probably attributable to a combination of various treatments rather than any single treatment. Changes in lifestyle characteristics and dietary practices might also have contributed to trends in survival,” said Briffa.

These findings were published in the Monday edition of the British Medical Journal.

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