Heart disease declines despite smoking stats

Heart disease rates are falling in many countries, even though an increasing number of women are smoking in some regions of the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There has been an increase in smokers among females in Russia, Poland, Spain, Belgium, and Germany. Heart disease has declined in most countries, but increased in Eastern European regions and China. A WHO report stated that it is expected that in those populations where smoking rates are increasing, heart disease will increase in the future. The decline in heart disease rates is probably due to an improvement in treatment as well as risk factors, such as decline in smoking and blood pressure, and slight decrease in cholesterol levels in some regions. Changes in public health programs and tobacco legislation may have helped, as well.n

Rhonda Liberto, PharmD, clinical pharmacist, cardiac and vascular training, Sentara General Hospital, Norfolk, VA. Telephone: (757) 668-3991.

Les Wooldridge, RN, education coordinator, resuscitation program, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN. Telephone: (615) 343-6290.

Allan Lansing, MD, director, Heart Institute, Audubon Regional Medical Center, Louisville, KY. Telephone: (502) 636-7111.

Kimberly Bell, RN, CCRN, nurse clinician, coronary care unit and coronary progressive care unit, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers, Beech Grove, IN. Telephone: (317) 783-8949.n