Bloomberg news (7/12/2010) reported that hospitals in the United States are delivering more urgent and faster emergency medical care to heart attack patients which results in increased survival. Bloomberg reported that in 2009 88% of patients with heart attacks received procedures within the recommended 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital compared to only 64.5% in 2007. The original study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

According to the American College of Cardiology about 770,000 Americans this year will have their first heart attack. A heart attack is an acute disruption of blood flow to the heart causing the death of the heart tissue. About 38% of those heart attacks will result in death.

These findings showing improved urgent care to these heart attack patients gives hope for increasing survival of heart attack patients brought to the hospital early on. Patients at risk for heart attack include those with cardiac risk factors such as hypertension or high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, a history of smoking, hyperlipidemia or elevated lipids, a family history of heart disease and obesity. These individuals need early testing to evaluate their risk for heart attack.