Heart Disease

A young woman experiencing heart attack symptoms.
Anita Rao / WUNC

The average age of heart attacks is declining according to new research. A recent study published in the journal Circulation shows that a higher proportion of heart attacks are occurring in people under the age of 55 — and specifically younger women. Close to a third of heart attacks now occur in women under 55.

North Carolina Zoo, Chimpanzee, Heart Disease
NC Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo has lost one of its oldest mammals.  Ruthie, a chimpanzee, was euthanized last week after suffering from heart disease. Ruthie was brought to the zoo in 1980 for its grand opening. She was one of the first chimps to make up the new "Kitera Forest" habitat. Staffers think she was about seven years old when she arrived at the zoo.

County by county map of the disparities in cardiovascular disease death rates.
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). US Health Map. Seattle, WA: IHME, University of Washington

It's a testament to modern medicine. Death rates from heart disease around the nation have been cut in half.

But new research sheds light on the wide disparities in cardiovascular death rates depending on geography.

Stethoscope
jasleen_kaur / Flickr Creative Commons

A new collaboration between SAS and the Duke Clinical Research Institute will provide researchers from around the world with an enormous database of patients who have suffered from heart disease.

Matt Gross is Director of Health and Life Sciences Global Practice at SAS.  He says the database is the largest cardiovascular database around and will eventually help find new ways to treat heart disease.

A cigarette in an ashtray.
Tomasz Sienicki / Wikipedia

Nicotine is about as addictive as heroin. It is also about as hard to kick, according to Dr. James Davis of the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation.

His organization is participating in the Race To Quit, NC campaign this week to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking, and to point smokers to resources.