Couric: What's behind this dramatic improvement in?
LaPook: What's really new over the past decade has been a dramatic increase in the use of medications that can lower a person's chance of having a heart attack. High cholesterol can be lowered using a statin. And if you're having a heart attack, you can open up the clogged artery using a procedure and decrease the odds of that a person will actually die from a heart attack.
Couric: I know the study looked at the reduction of heart attacks in the Kaiser Permanente health care system in Northern California. Are these trends consistent throughout the country? Something tells me no.
LaPook: No, you're completely right. There's a huge disparity of care and that's a real problem. In certain areas the odds of dying from a heart attack are much higher than others. One possible explanation is decrease for access to care in low income areas like Appalachia and Mississippi. Bottom line is you can't take advantage of the new advances if you don't have a doctor.
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