New State Reports Look at Heart Attack Rates, Hospitalizations in Calif.
The number of heart attacks reported in California grew by 15% between 1988 and 2008, but the percentage of the population experiencing heart attacks declined during that time, according to two studies by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The studies -- "Part I: Trends in Utilization and Resources,"Â and "Part II: Trends in Heart Attack Hospitalizations" -- look at 20-year trends in cardiac care and heart attack hospitalizations in California.
The studies found that:
- The number of heart attacks reported grew from 59,655 in 1988 to 68,424 in 2008;
- The rate of heart attacks per 1,000 people fell from 2.1 in 1988 to 1.8 in 2008, a 15% decline; and
- Heart attack survival improved from 50,483 survivors in 1988 to 59,251 survivors in 2008, a 17% increase (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/6).
The study also found that heart attack deaths among patients younger than age 40 increased by 85.5% between 1988 and 2008.
Variation in Heart Attack Hospitalization Rates
OSHPD found that heart attack hospitalization rates varied among racial and ethnic groups. The report found that between 1988 and 2008, heart attack hospitalizations declined by about 12.5% among white residents. During the same time period, heart attack hospitalizations increased by about:
- 62.3% among Native Americans;
- 55% among Asian/Pacific Islanders;
- 33.6% among Hispanics; and
- 33% among African Americans.
Possible Contributing Factors
According to OSHPD, about half of the state's decline in coronary artery disease and heart attack deaths could be attributed to better methods of improving blood flow and new drugs that lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Researchers noted that another 40% of the decline could stem from a reduction in risky behaviors like smoking. However, OSHPD also noted that the state's rising obesity rate could be offsetting some of the benefits of the decline in smoking rates (Lin, California Watch, 6/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.