American Heart Association Announces Top 10 Research Advances For 1998 -- Gene Therapy Among The List

. If LDL levels can not be reduced by diet, add exercise. That's another message of research this past year. Increased physical activity can enhance the effects of low fat diet in reducing LDL levels. "Exercise and diet should be paired," says Fuster.

8. Community education campaigns get more people to the emergency room
At the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in November, scientists described a study that examined the influence of community campaigns in educating the public about heart attack symptoms and the need for rapid action. The long-term goal is to reduce the time people delay seeking emergency care for heart attack because the quicker that people seek treatment, the greater their chances of surviving the heart attack and reducing damage to the heart. The study was conducted in 20 medium-sized cities in five regions of the country. Half of the cities were sites of the community education campaign. In the remainder, the educational program was not conducted. In the cities where the education campaign occurred, more people with heart attack symptoms came to the emergency department. There also was a 10 to 15 percent increase in the number of people choosing to call Emergency Medical Service (EMS)/911 for transport. In most U.S. cities, one-half to two-thirds of those with possible heart attack arrive in the emergency room by other means than EMS. "This study points out the importance of education and community campaigns in persuading people not only to arrive early in the emergency room but to seek medical attention in the first place," says Fuster.

9. Epidemic of cardiovascular disease and stroke
Following the federal government's lead, the American Heart Association has updated the way it computes age-adjusted death rates from heart attack and stroke, resulting in death rates that scientists say more realistically depict the true burden of cardiovascular disease. The new death rates are publishe

Contact: Cathy Yarbrough
American Heart Association

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