Patients who suffer a heart attack in Britain are a third more likely to die that those in Sweden, a study has found.

The National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research, University College London, compared data from both British and Swedish hospitals.

The study revealed that 10.5% of British heart attack patients were dead within 30 days, as opposed to just 7.6% in Sweden.

After adjusting the calculations to take into account the patient’s age, health and lifestyle, the researchers said this amounted to 11,263 extra heart attack fatalities in Britain.

“Cause for concern”

Experts say these deaths can be blamed upon the NHS which has been too slow to use the latest treatments available. This includes procedures to widen obstructed arteries and the prescription of medicines such as beta blockers.

Professor Harry Hemingway, who led the study, said: “our findings are a cause for concern. The uptake and use of new technologies and effective treatments recommended in guidelines has been far quicker in Sweden. This has contributed to large differences in the management and outcome of patients.”

Tomas Jernberg, from Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, agrees. As a co-author of the study, he suggests “that a failure to get the best treatment is one likely reason why short-term survival for heart attack patients is lower in the UK.”

Associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, Mike Knapton, said: “The reasons behind the differing survival rates are complex, but the one explanation could be the speed with which the two countries adopted primary angioplasty as an emergency treatment.

“The lesson here for the UK is that we need to be led by the research and introduce pioneering practices quickly and on a large scale.”

Heart attack deaths

If your loved one did not receive the medical treatment he/she required after a heart attack, there may be a case of medical negligence. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Share Article With:

delicious digg facebook reddit twitter stumble upon