Larry Martino

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The United States has seen a significant reduction in heart attack-related deaths over the past twenty years. So says a new study which was presented yesterday at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together With the World Congress of Cardiology.

According to an article written by the American College of Cardiology on, these findings were based on a study of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data from the years 1999-2000. The study also shows that the racial disparity in the rates of heart disease between Caucasian/White people and African-American/Black people in the U.S.A. has also narrowed during that 22-year period.

The lead author on this new study is Muchi Ditah Chobufo, MD who is a cardiology fellow at West Virginia University. He thinks there are many factors for this reduction in the number of heart attack-related deaths in the United States. He points out that there are more people adhering to healthy diets and activities, and to the fact that care and treatment for those suffering from heart disease has improved, both during and after a heart attack.

Per the American College of Cardiology article, the CDC reports that there are more than 800,000 people in America who suffer from heart attacks every year. The report shows that the “overall rate of death from heart attack, adjusted for age, fell from about 87 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to about 38 deaths per 100,000 people in 2020.”

The rates of heart attack deaths were higher for African-American/Black people than any other race, but rates for this specific racial group dropped significantly over the study period from “104 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 [to] 46 deaths per 100,000 people in 2020.” Asians and Pacific Islanders had the lowest rates of heart attack-related deaths according to this study.

You have heard it before, but the advice bears repeating: The best way to avoid heart disease and heart attacks is to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid using tobacco.

You should also be aware of the most common signs that you may be experiencing a heart attack. Those signals include: “shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in the chest, jaw, neck, back, arm or shoulder; and feeling weak, lightheaded or faint.” If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately and get yourself to a hospital emergency room as soon as you can.


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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.

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