Dispatch: Way to Go, Ontario

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A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association concludes, “Between 1994 and 2005, there was a decrease in CHD [coronary heart disease] mortality rates in Ontario that was associated primarily with trends in risk factors and improvements in medical treatments, each explaining about half of the decrease.”

“The mortality rate from coronary heart disease dropped by 35 percent,” says Dr. Ross. “That is astounding. One half is attributed to improvements in terms of coronary risk factors, including lipid levels and blood pressure reduction, while medical and surgical treatments accounted for other half. This is in spite of the fact that the smoking rate declined only about 6 percent during that interval, contributing to the CHD decrease, but not as much as it could have. The public health authorities in Ontario should do a better job at educating the public about the dangers of smoking, and how to quit.”

Dr. Whelan adds, “That would seem to indicate that the first part of the equation here is pharmaceutical intervention, including the use of statins to control cholesterol.”