About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Survival now more likely for those who suffer heart attacks

The American Heart Association's "chain of survival" for heart attack.

Those who had  heart attacks in Virginia in 2009 were more likely to survive it, compared to those who had heart attacks in 2000. This means that 1,872 Virginians are alive today who not be otherwise.

“That’s an amazing statistic if you think about it,” said Dr. Karen Remley, state health commissioner.

Remley held a press conference last week in Richmond to call attention to the state’s decade-long decline in heart attack mortality. She attributed the decline to people recognizing a heart attack and getting treatment quicker.

“We’ve done a great job,” she said.

Still, much remains to be done, she said. Two-thirds of adults with high cholesterol and one-half of adults with high blood pressure do not have their conditions under control, Remley said. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are still the nation’s leading killers. “They are very common, very deadly and preventable,” she said.