More Americans Surviving Heart Disease

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A new health report says more Americans are surviving heart disease than ever before.

Researchers estimate nearly 160,000 lives have been saved in the last six years.

They say deaths from heart attacks are down nearly 26 percent and the rates for stroke victims have also fallen 24 percent.

The American Heart Association attributes the record declines to new innovative treatments like angioplasty, stents, clot-busting drugs, all of which work to keep blood flowing to the heart and brain.

Patients are also being more pro-active, trying to lower their cholesterol and blood pressure. This some say is the upward progress of prevention.

With the help of medications, the number of Americans with high-blood pressure is also down 16 percent since 1999. And the use of statin drugs is credited for the drop in the number of people with high cholesterol, down 19 percent overall.

Plus, once thought as the standard of being 'cool,' smoking is down 15 percent over the last nine years.

"More Americans are getting the message and willing to take medications every day that control these risk factors," said Dr. Mark Gillinov of the Cleveland Clinic's Heart Institute.

However, doctors say the America's total health view is not too rosy. Obesity and Type II Diabetes are on the rise among younger Americans and appearing earlier in life like never before.

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