August 7, 2015 – Changing Heart Disease


Anchor lead:  Are recent successes with CPR sustainable? Elizabeth Tracey reports

When bystanders initiate CPR during apparent heart attacks, more of those folks survive, recent studies show.  While these results are very encouraging, Gordon Tomaselli, director of cardiology at Johns Hopkins, says the changing nature of heart disease may slow down the ability of CPR to sustain folks who have an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

Tomaselli: We have made a lot of progress in reducing cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular disease incidence over the last twenty to thirty years. We’re now seeing kind of a resurgence, a lot of this has to do with rising rates of obesity, earlier onset of diabetes, and this may create a different form of heart disease.  What we’re seeing is more heart failure as opposed to acute coronary disease, relatively speaking.  Acute coronary disease still very prominent more than a million heart attacks a year, on top of that we’re seeing other forms of heart muscle weakness.   :30

Tomaselli says public health efforts to prevent heart disease remain paramount.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.