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Virginia Sees Drop In Heart Attack Mortality Rates

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Virginia's heart attack mortality rates are continuing a 10-year decline.

Virginia's health commissioner, Dr. Karen Remley, says a 45 percent decrease in heart attack mortality rates is very exciting. But she says, as a woman, she's especially thrilled to see that rates among women were down 49 percent, and the difference in mortality between white and black women narrowed from 22 percent to 1 percent.

Remley attributes a lot of that improvement to education.

"Really having women understand that they're symptoms of a heart attack may be different than a man's. Jaw pain, a different kind of arm pain -- think heart attack when that happens and get it checked out," she says.

Remley says while mortality has improved, the incidence of heart attacks has been relatively stable. She says now the focus needs to be prevention.

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