Israeli cardiology given top marks

Prestigious journal rates Israeli cardiology better than most of Europe’s.

heart monitor 88 (photo credit: )
heart monitor 88
(photo credit: )
Israeli cardiology has received an impressive report card from the European Society of Cardiology, whose prestigious European Heart Journal has found that the death rate of hospitalized heart attack patients in Israel is lower than that in 29 European countries. In addition, Israeli acute myocardial infarction patients get balloon angioplasty to open clogged coronary arteries faster than in all the others except Germany.

A few years ago, among all diseases cancer was identifiedas the biggest killer in Israel, surpassing heart disease, whosemortality rates have declined due to improved medical technology,highly trained cardiologists, greater accessibility and betterprevention. Accessibility was increased when the Health Ministryrequired the health funds to give hospitals a rather generous, setamount per procedure instead of the much lower, per diemhospitalization rate.
Experts from 30 countries,from Austria to the UK, were asked to report on their own officialnational statistics, and Israel was represented by leadingcardiologists Profs. Alexander Battler, Basil Lewis and ShlomoBehar.
The just-published scientific paperreported that the number of annual Israeli angioplasties(catheterizations in which a tiny deflated balloon is pushed from thegroin or arm into the heart to restore blood flow) is 2,726 per millionresidents – twice that in the US and higher than France and Italy. OnlyGermany had a higher rate than Israel’s. Just 4.2 percent of patientsdied in the aftermath of heart attacks in Israeli hospitals, comparedto 11.9% in Finland and 13.5% in Italy.
Thearticle also noted that 75% of Israeli heart patients who undergourgent angioplasties get it immediately rather than the less effectivethrombolysis (injection of tPA, which gradually dissolves theclot).
At the same time, the number of new heart attackcases here is similarto the average European rate of 136 per 100,000, the Israel HeartSociety reported. The journal showed in its tables that the rate ofIsraeli residents per catheterization center was 333,500 (there are 22centers here), which was at an “optimal” level, making this countrylook good compared to most European countries. Israeli heart attackvictims, on average, reach medical care in 90 minutes after the onsetof symptoms compared to twice that in Belgium and Greece.
The heart society’s president, Prof. Gad Keren, and secretary-generalProf. Doron Zager said they were proud that the mortality rate fromheart attacks in Israel is among the lowest in Europe. “It reflectsupon years of research and hard work by cardiology departments aroundthe country, as well as the health system’s correct investment incatheterization labs. To preserve this achievement for the future andeven to improve on it, we must continue to invest many resources inresearch, manpower and equipment to deal with heart attacks. Thisinvestment has proven itself as saving lives,” they concluded.