To be honest with you, the health statistics sometimes boggle me.
I research hundreds of them, but to make sense at times can be a mind bender.
An article released just last month had me looking twice.
Apparently, Canada appears to be making progress in preventing heart attacks.
The Health Indicators 2009 report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information suggested the rate of heart attacks in Canada dropped 13 per cent between 2003-2004 and 2007-2008.
There were 251 hospitalizations for heart attacks per 100,000 people the first year, which dropped to 219 hospitalizations per 100,000 last year.
The rate of deaths from heart attack within 30 days of being admitted to hospital also dropped, decreasing by 11 per cent between 2003 and 2008.
Lets just look for a minute here, shall we? Do you notice that these numbers are for hospitalized heart attacks?
The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation report about 40,000 Canadians experience heart attacks, every year, 17,000 will die. Every 7 minutes someone dies from either a heart attack or stroke.
The majority, 70%, of heart attacks and cardiac arrests (when the heart stops pumping blood) occur in homes and public places. And, less than 5% of those who have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive.
Strangely enough a study, also published last month, in the June, 2009 Canadian Medical Association Journal reports the prevalence of heart disease as increasing in all age groups and most income groups in Canada.
In 2005, the most recent report available from Stats Canada, cardiovascular disease accounted for:
· 31% of all deaths in Canada
· 30% of all male deaths
· 31% of all female deaths
Now, just to clarify, cardiovascular diseases are defined as diseases and injuries of the cardiovascular system: the heart, the blood vessels of the heart and the system of blood vessels (veins and arteries) throughout the body and within the brain.
Previously mentioned heart attacks, definitely fall into this category, but CVD is not limited to only heart attacks. A stroke, for example, is the result of a blood flow problem in the brain.
It also is considered a form of cardiovascular disease.
So what do all these numbers really mean? Is Canada getting healthier or is heart disease on the increase, but people are enduring longer ?
A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, claims a 30% decline in rate of death and hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease over a 10-year period in Canada,
Is this encouraging?