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As more hospitals have adopted evidence-based coronary artery disease treatment guidelines, fewer people are developing heart failure and fewer are dying from it, new findings indicate. Among other measures, current guidelines call for a more aggressive use of aspirin, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).


Researchers gathered data on about 45,000 people treated at 113 hospitals in 14 countries between 1999 and 2006. They evaluated outcomes during hospital stays and 6 months after discharge.


During the study, use of cardiac drug treatments increased, as did PCI. Deaths from myocardial infarction (MI) dropped from 8.4% to 4.6% and cases of new heart failure declined from 19.5% to 11%. New cases of MI dropped from 4.8% to 2%.


Researchers concluded that the improvements reflect the combined effect of a greater use of cardiac drugs and PCI.




Fox KA, et al., Decline in rates of death and heart failure in acute coronary syndromes, 1999-2006, Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2, 2007.