A heart attack or acute myocardial infarction, happens when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is severely reduced or stopped. The loss of blood or oxygen causes damage and potential death of heart tissue. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the main cause of heart attack. A less common cause is a severe spasm of a coronary artery which also can prevent blood supply from reaching the heart.

Several factors can be involved in the increased risk of heart disease. These factors can include health, lifestyle, and environment.

Heart attack hospitalizations include the number of people who were admitted to the hospital for a heart attack. Hospitalizations for heart attack measures exclude transfers (a patient discharged from one facility and readmitted to a second facility on the same day) to avoid counting the same heart attack event multiple times.

However, some transfers between hospitals for the same person for the same heart attack event may remain in the data. These data can be used to assess the burden of heart attacks, monitor trends over time, identify high-risk groups, and enhance prevention, education, and evaluation efforts. Advanced options include age group and gender.

Heart attacks largely occur in individuals aged 35 and older, in order to better assess and compare the burden of heart attacks in Iowa the age-adjusted rate (AAR) is calculated only using the 35 and older age groups.

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Heart Attack Hospitalizations Data Visualization

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Measure Description:

  • The Count of Hospitalizations is the number of inpatient hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis code for a Heart Attack.
  • The Crude Rate (Per 10K) is the rate of inpatient hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis code for a Heart Attack per 10,000 Population.
  • The Age Adj Rate (Per 10K) 35 and Older is the age-adjusted rate of inpatient hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis code for a Heart Attack among persons 35 and older per 10,000 Population 35 and Older. Age adjustment to the 2000 Standard US Census is done to allow direct comparison of rates in counties and state with different population age distributions.
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Heart Attacks & Environment

Investigators in the United States and worldwide have shown short- and long-term exposure to air pollution increases the risk of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and other forms of ischemic heart disease (also known as coronary artery disease or coronary heart disease).

A number of studies have reported associations between air pollution and hospital stays for heart attacks and other forms of heart disease. For example, researchers have demonstrated increases in heart attack hospital stay rates in relation to the levels of fine particles in the air (PM2.5). This relationship is observed particularly in sensitive groups such as the elderly, patients with pre-existing heart disease, survivors of a heart attack, or people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The level of environmental risk for heart attacks depends on several factors:

  • the amount of pollution in the air
  • a person's exposure to the air pollution
  • overall health

Other risks include conditions and behavioral factors, such as:

  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Drinking too much alcohol

Heart disease can run in the family. Genetic factors likely play some role in high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, diabetes, heart disease, and other vascular conditions. However, people with a family history of heart disease likely share common environments and risk factors that may further increase their risk.

Heart Attack Prevention

A heart attack can happen to anyone—people must take the time to learn which of the risk factors apply to them specifically and take steps to eliminate or reduce them.

Following are steps people can take to reduce their risk for a heart attack:

  • Prevent and control high blood cholesterol
  • Prevent and control high blood pressure
  • Prevent and control diabetes
  • Do not smoke
  • Moderate alcohol use
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Do regular physical activity
  • Eat a nutritious diet

Also, people can take steps to help protect their health from air pollution:

  • Know their sensitivity to air pollution
  • Know when air pollution may be bad in their area
  • Plan activities when and where pollution levels are lower, using the Air Quality Index to guide planning
  • Change their activity level
  • Listen to their bodies
  • Consult their healthcare provider
  • Have their medication with them
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About Heart Attack Hospitalizations Data

About Heart Attack Hospitalizations Data

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