Agreement aims to improve heart attack care in China

Updated: 2016-06-08 14:39


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Heart attacks in China killed 3.7 people per 100,000 in 2001, and the number of deaths increased to 15.8 per 100,000 in 2011. To lower that death rate, the American Heart Association and the Chinese Society of Cardiology announced that they will develop an emergency medical system and a hospital-based program to improve the care for heart attack victims in the country.

The announcement, made on Monday, came amid high-level talks between the two countries during the US-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange in Beijing. It also comes a year after an agreement between the Chinese government and the American Heart Association (AHA) to advance cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and cardiovascular science in China.

Heart disease, which can lead to heart attack and a stroke, is becoming a major health concern in China and the rest of the developing world, according to Dr Sidney Smith, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina and a former president of the AHA.

"Heart attacks accounted for 3.7 deaths per 100,000 people in China in 2001," he told China Daily in an interview from Beijing. "That increased to 15.8 deaths per 100,000 in 2011."

More than 2 million Chinese suffer a stroke every year, noted Smith. The World Health Organization (WHO) said about 230 million in China suffer from cardiovascular disease. The WHO also said cardiovascular events like a heart attack are predicted to increase by 50 percent between 2010 and 2030 based on population aging and growth in China.

Smith said this agreement will enable China to learn about the best practices in the US that played an important role in reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease by 39 percent during a 10-year period starting in 2001.

Smith said like the US, China will learn that when cardiac arrest occurs, seconds count and immediate use of CPR can double or triple a victim's chance of survival.

"We believe this agreement will enable over 100 million Chinese to learn how to perform CPR," said Smith."This agreement is filled with many opportunities for China to learn about best practices when it comes to not only treating heart disease but also in preventing it," he added.

The AHA and China's cardiology society will implement a system of quality-care improvements for heart attack victims.

Hospital networks and emergency-medical systems in Tianjin, Suzhou, Beijing and Shanghai will be part of the initial collaborative that will collect, share and report back on data regarding intervention designs, new and revised protocols, and implementation strategies for systems of care.

A public awareness campaign will educate consumers about the signs and symptoms of heart attacks and strokes and the importance of getting someone to the hospital quickly.

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