Heart attacks continue notable 15-year decline in Northern California

From Kaiser Permanente:

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 1, 2016 — Heart attack rates among an ethnically diverse population of more than 3.8 million Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California fell 23 percent from 2008 to 2014, as reported today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“Our findings show heart attack rates have continued to decline since 2008, overall and in key patient subgroups, within a large community that reflects racial, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity,” said senior author Alan S. Go, MD, chief of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Conditions at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research.

Researchers studied rates of heart attacks by severity, age, gender, and diabetes status. While the incidence of heart attacks was highest in men, older age groups, and people with diabetes, similar declines in heart attack rates were seen across all subgroups — including those most at risk and with the highest rates, as well as among lower-risk patients, such as younger patients and women.

“This persistent reduction in the risk of heart attack is a testament to Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing primary and secondary prevention efforts at a community level,” said lead author Matthew D. Solomon, MD, PhD, of the Division of Cardiology, Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center and adjunct investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. “We have implemented system-wide programs for the management of blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses, which has resulted in nation-leading reductions in heart disease among our members.”

The findings of this latest Kaiser Permanente study build on research published in 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine that demonstrated a 24 percent decline in heart attacks between 1999 and 2008.

A key difference in the two time periods studied was the type of heart attack that accounted for …

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