Heart attack risk higher in East Germany

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Heart attack risk in men and significantly higher in eastern Germany Men suffer a heart attack more often than women and in the new federal states the heart attack risk is higher than in the west. The German Cardiac Society (DGK) presented the current 2009 Heart Report at its autumn conference in Nuremberg.

Men are more affected by heart attacks than women. According to this, men were hospitalized more than 50 percent more often than women because of a heart attack. And the cost of treating heart disease in men also increased significantly more strongly than in women from 2002 to 2008, 22.5 percent compared to 11.8 percent. "Heart attack is still predominantly a male disease in Germany," stressed the author of the heart report, Ernst Bruckenberger. The genetic predisposition in men is either less favorable or they live more unhealthy, the specialist explained, whereby the heart report only records the number of diseases, but does not provide a scientific explanation of the causes. According to the 2009 heart report submitted, 133,636 men were hospitalized across Germany for a heart attack compared to 77,069 women. 30,559 men and 26,216 women died of a heart attack in 2009, making the death rate 21.2 percent higher for men than for women.

Strong regional differences - East Germany tends to be more affected In addition to the gender-specific differences in heart attacks, the Heart Report 2009 again documents clear regional differences. Heart attacks are far more common in the new federal states than in the west, with the number of deaths from heart attacks in Saxony-Anhalt by 42.9 percent, in Brandenburg by 46 percent, in Saxony by 18.6 percent and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania by 14 , 9 percent and in Thuringia by 13 percent. In contrast, relatively few people die in Hesse, Schleswig-Holstein and the city-states of Bremen, Hamburg and Berlin. Broken down at the circle level, the differences become even greater. For example, deaths due to heart attacks increased by 106 percent in the Spree-Neisse district and by 102.7 percent in the Uckermark. This contrasts with a decrease in deaths in the Plön district (minus 66.6 percent), the city of Memmingen (minus 58.7 percent) and the Schleswig-Flensburg district (minus 56.5 percent), which is due to the strong regional differences in deaths Heart attacks clarified.

Differences in the supply landscape The retired Ministerialrat at the Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs and author of the Heart Report 2009, Ernst Bruckenberger, attributes the clear east-west differences primarily to the poorer medical care in the new federal states. In his view, one cannot speak of an “even roughly uniform supply landscape” for the major heart diseases, even if the treatment options in Germany are generally good. Germany, for example, occupies a top position in the international cardiac catheterization laboratory with currently 930 facilities.

Number of treatments only increases slightly The number of treatments such as cardiac catheter examinations (plus 1.5 percent), percutaneous coronary interventions (plus 1.8 percent) and stents (plus 1.1 percent) continued to increase in 2009, however According to the specialist, the increase compared to the previous year is the smallest since 1980. The DGK President Michael Böhm sees his assessment confirmed that an adequate and efficient care structure has now been established in Germany in cardiology. Overall, the author of the heart report draws a positive balance, because heart attacks are the cause of death for fewer and fewer people in Germany: "The number of heart attack deaths has decreased by a total of 10,507 deaths or 15.4 percent since 2000," said Bruckenberger, whereby the death rate among men and women has decreased in all age groups. Patients in the age group between 70 and 80 years benefited most from advances in diagnostics and treatment. Across Germany, according to the 2009 Heart Report, an average of 69.2 people per 100,000 inhabitants die of a heart attack each year. (fp, 09.10.2010)

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