Approximately 1.5 million cases of myocardial infarction (MI) occur in the United States per year and despite significant declines in age-adjusted mortality rates attributable to acute MI since the 1970s, the overall rate of MI-related deaths has not declined. Heart disease remains the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in the nation, killing approximately 650,000 U.S. adults per year. While prompt recognition of MI symptoms is essential to improving health outcomes and ensuring timely access to emergency cardiac care, MI patients continue to have a delayed presentation in the hospital – a large number die before even reaching the hospital.
A lack of awareness may be to blame. Results of a recent study, published in JAMA Network Open reveal that many adults in the United States are unaware of the basic symptoms indicating myocardial infarction or what to do if they experience them.