CUMC Expert Raises Concerns about Heart Disease Trends

November 10, 2011

Mortality from heart disease has declined in the United States and around the world since the 1960s, but not enough has been done to prevent people from getting heart disease in the first place, says Lee Goldman, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and epidemiology, dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine, and executive vice president for health and biomedical sciences, Columbia University Medical Center.

In a presentation at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference in San Francisco, Goldman said that about half of the overall decline in heart disease deaths can be attributed to improved treatments for people who develop heart disease. Such treatments include medicines, as well as surgical and other interventions, that have improved the outcomes of people who suffer heart attacks.

However, Goldman added, “We seem to be losing the battle on lifestyle. I hope I am wrong, but the marked increase in diabetes and obesity is going to offset most of the decrease in primary risk factors” such as smoking and cholesterol.”

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Lee Goldman, MPH, San Francisco, Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics