Here’s some great news about heart attacks and strokes for a change.
The British Heart Foundation has released new statistics in January 2012 that show a 50% reduction in the number of heart attacks suffered by people in the United Kingdom over the period from 2002 to 2012.
Furthermore, of those who do suffer a heart attack, or a stroke (which is effectively the same as a heart attack on the brain), there has been a corresponding fall of 50% in the number of deaths in these people as a result of the attack.
Professor Peter Weissberg (Medical Director at the BHF, and Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine) was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today Program, and questioned by the presenter as to the reason for the fall. He revealed that research over the years has increased our understanding of the causes, and prevention of the cardiovascular disease, and also lead to improved treatments for heart attack and stroke.
There has been much more publicity in recent years about how to look after your heart health, that has led to a greater understanding by the average person and encouraged them to eat healthier diets, take more exercise, quit smoking, and lose weight.
Another important factor that has recently started to impact positively on the statistics, is the introduction of the smoking ban in public areas that was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2007. Smoking causes the furring up of the arteries that increases the risk of a heart attack. Smoking also has some detrimental impact on the already furred up arteries.
The British Heart Foundation also funded some research in Scotland that examined the impact of the smoking ban, and this has shown that the beneficial results of the new policy started to become apparent there within just three weeks of the start of the ban. This is very encouraging news for anyone who is considering considering giving up smoking, as it demonstrates the tangible and rapid benefit from giving up.
There is still much work to do however, as Cardiovascular Disease remains the largest single cause of death in the UK in 2012. Also a quarter of all people who suffer from a heart attack die before they are able to receive treatment. This is one area that Professor Weissberg indicated could be improved by more public awareness of how the average person could help to treat a heart attack victim at the scene of the incident using Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
A new type of CPR has recently been publicised in a national TV advertising campaign. Known as ‘hard and fast’ it shows the Hollywood ‘hard man’ Vinnie Jones performing a new type of hands only CPR on a heart attack victim. You can see the movie below :-