Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The positive impact improved treatment and more effective preventive measures are having on the death rate from coronary heart disease was named the “Best Prevention Idea of the Week,” while prescription labels inaccurately translated into Spanish was named the “Worst Prevention Idea of the Week."

The “Best/Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. Nominees are submitted by Partnership staff as well as the general public, and are voted on by the staff. Partnership for Prevention is a nonpartisan organization of business, nonprofit and government leaders who are working to make evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion a national priority. More information is available at http://www.prevent.org/.


Prevention Gets Credit for Fewer Heart Deaths

Improved treatment, coupled with more effective preventive measures, may be having a positive impact on the death rate from coronary heart disease. Death rate data from the United States and Canada both indicate a drop in cardiovascular deaths. According to the American Heart Association, the annual death rate from coronary heart disease from 1996 to 2006 declined 36.4 percent and the actual death rate dropped 21.9 percent.

In Canada, according to a study in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the death rate from coronary heart disease in the province of Ontario fell by 35 percent from 1994 to 2005.

"The overall good news is that coronary heart mortality continued to go down despite people growing older," said study author Dr. Harindra C. Wijeysundera, a cardiologist at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Schulich Heart Centre in Toronto.


Translated prescriptions often wrong

Pharmacies that print prescription labels translated into Spanish often issue inaccurate or confusing instructions that could be potentially hazardous to a patient's health, according to a report in the May issue of Pediatrics journal. Researchers looked at 76 medicine labels generated by 13 different computer programs that many pharmacies use to make translations and found an overall error rate of 50 percent.

"It's not surprising, and it's something I experience in practice every day," said Dr. Alejandro Clavier, who works at Esperanza Health Center in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side.


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