Heart Attacks on the Decline

This article from the Wall Street Journal reports that heart attack admissions have been declining steadily since 2002 from 400,000 to 319,000. 

The reporter explains a number of things that might have helped – education, cholesterol lowering statin drugs, smoking cessation, etc.

I’m skeptical that much of these have had an impact.  Looking around, it seems we are as unhealthy as ever.  I would guess that any benefits that from these sources would have been offset by unhealthier lifestyles.

I’m a big considerer of age demographics.  I think age demographics tend to drive business cycles much more than we know.  Some others agree.  This article made me recall an article not long ago in Forbes about an investment manager that looks at age demographics to track and predict overall investment trends. 

Based on age demographics, he said that peak demand for medicine occurred somewhere around 2002 or 2003 because that’s when we had the most people at the peak age at which health care is used.

Perhaps the article is picking up on a more general overall trend in decline in medical services based on age demographics.  Maybe not. 

It would have been interesting to see the data on heart attack admissions prior to 2002 to see if that’s when it peaked.


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