Is the heart attack going out of style?

Harvard Health Letter

Hospitalization rates for heart attacks are going down, so maybe prevention efforts are paying off. Two studies published in 2010 show that the American heart attack rate is continuing to decline. The first, published in Circulation, was based on Medicare data. The main finding was that hospitalization rates for heart attack dropped by about 23% between 2002 and 2007, which by the authors' calculations might have translated into 100,000 fewer hospitalizations a year for the 45 million Americans enrolled in the Medicare program. The second study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, was based on the hospitalization records of 3 million people ages 30 and older enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health plan. Again, the overall finding was the decline in hospitalizations for heart attack at a clip — 24% — that was nearly identical to that found in the Medicare study, and for a time period, 1999 to 2008, that was roughly the same.
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