Friday, October 9, 2009

Hospitalization for Heart Disease on the Decline!

The U.S. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality reported hospitalizations for coronary heart disease (blocked heart arteries) has decreased by 31% from 1997-2007. Additionally, hospitalizations for a heart attack decreased by 15%. No longer is hospital stay for coronary heart disease (blocked heart arteries) the No 1 disease treated in hospitals. It now trails behind pneumonia and heart failure (when your heart isn’t pumping efficiently).

The report included other noteworthy facts.

  • Congestive heart failure rates were unchanged between 1997-2007.
  • Admissions for irregular heartbeat were up 28% between 1997-2007.
  • Heart catheterization (invasive procedure to assess heart arteries) is the second most common procedure among hospitalized men, and the fourth most common in women.
  • Although hospital stays for blocked arteries have significantly decreased circulatory conditions (combining: congestive heart failure, heart attack, blocked arteries, and irregular heartbeat) were the most frequent major cause of hospital stays in 2007.
  • High Blood Pressure was a co morbid condition (existing simultaneously with and usually independently of another medical condition) in 35% of all hospital stays in 2007.
  • When pregnancy and child birth stays were excluded, women still accounted for more hospital stays (59%) than males (41%) in 2007.

We should applaud ourselves for taking better care of our hearts. However, we still have a lot of work to do. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Stroke remains the third leading cause of death in the United States. If you haven’t had your heart risk assessment call your local Health Care Provider or visit your local Cardio Wellness Center to do so. Many with heart disease-their first symptom is their last. Don’t let this be you. Most of heart disease can be prevented.

One last note- heart failure hospital stays have not declined since 1997 and stroke remains our 3rd leading cause death in the United States. High Blood Pressure is often present before heart failure and/or strokes occur. Know your blood pressure number and manage it. One in three of us have high blood pressure….do you know your pressure?

Levit, K., et al. HCUP Facts and Figures: Statistics on Hospital-based Care in the United States, 2007. Agency for Healthcare Research and quality 2009.