Argentina heart attack death rate nearly halved over 15 years

The 38th Argentine Congress of Cardiology takes place 5 to 7 October 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event is organised by the Argentine Society of Cardiology, which is an affiliated member of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)(2). The ESC will present a full day of scientific sessions at the event, on Saturday 6 October, as part of its Global Scientific Activities (GSA) programme. ESC Past-President Michel Komajda will head the European delegation.

Myocardial infarction remains one of the top causes of death in Argentina. According to results from the SCAR registry, the mortality rate of hospitalized because of acute myocardial infarction has dropped by 44% in the last 15 years, from 11.3% to 6.4%. The SCAR registry compared data from 733 patients in 47 centres in Argentina that participated in both registries of 1996 and 2011. The analysis was made using identical criteria for the definition of myocardial infarction and in both registries.

The registry also showed that there were 55% fewer smokers in 2011 compared to 1996. But over that 15 year period there was a 30% increase in patients with and a 53% increase in patients with background hypertension.

Dr Villarreal said: "In the last 15 years we have seen a dramatic decrease in smoking in patients admitted for acute myocardial infarction. This coincides with a moderate decrease in smoking habits in Argentina."

In 2011 a higher proportion of patients had previous infarction and (angioplasty and ). In 2011 there was also an increase in patients previously treated with aspirin, betablockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and statins.

The study also found a substantial reduction (59%) in mortality in the group of patients that were reperfused. Although there was no increase in the total number of patients who received reperfusion treatment, in eligible patients with ST segment elevation the rate of reperfusion increased from 65% to 85%. There was a higher use of primary or direct coronary angioplasty, aspirin, betablockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and statins.

Dr Villarreal said: "Results from the SCAR registry show that treatment for in Argentina has improved over the past 15 years, with greater use of recommended treatments and medications. Clinicians should now focus their efforts on facilitating the access of patients with to rapid reperfusion therapy and on extending the benefits of evidence based therapies to all patients."

Dr Jorge A.Belardi, President Elect 2013 of the Argentine Society of and President of the Scientific Committee of the 38th Argentine Congress of Cardiology, said: "The Argentine Society of Cardiology is committed to working to reduce cardiovascular mortality in our country. Our priorities will be primary prevention, working directly with the community, the government and the food industry. We will also focus on continuous medical education, with high adherence to medical guidelines, among other policies."

Prof Michel Komajda, Past-President of the ESC who is heading the European delegation said: "CVD is a global challenge. The ESC is proud to be working with its affiliate societies to spread key prevention messages. The ESC's Global Scientific Activities project aims to create a truly international cardiology community and to build on our history of successful cooperation with national societies beyond Europe."

The congress follows the launch of the Argentine Foundation of Cardiology campaign "El corazón de una mujer puede romperse EN SERIO" (A woman's heart can be broken SERIOUSLY). Women with heart disease seek medical help two hours later than men on average. The campaign aims to increase awareness of the problem of heart disease in women so that they receive earlier and better access to treatment and adopt heart healthy behaviours. Under the artistic direction of photographer Andy Cherniasvsky, the campaign will display photos and videos of local celebrities, plus a heart attack survivor, on public streets and television stations across Argentina.

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