There might come a day when the media does not need to cover heart disease to the extent that it does. Out of the 128 conditions and diseases we monitor within the media, heart disease is always in the top-10. Currently ranked #8, heart disease is unchanged this month at 89 points.
I was compelled to write about this topic after reading NY times author Gina Kolata’s amazing series on heart attacks. Almost without exception, the death rate from coronary heart disease has dropped 38 percent in the last decade. The reason is something really quite basic – streamline emergency treatment. The article series is full of stories from across the country that illustrate the power that simple but universal changes can have upon our overall health.
Is heart disease getting the media coverage it deserves? It’s hard to tell as every one of the condition we monitor deserve more media coverage and research funding. For some perspective within the Condition or Disease Sector, heart disease competes for media attention with a lot of high profile ailments and conditions. The topic pulls the same media rating as childhood cancer, autism and AIDS, but less than cancer, HIV, depression, obesity and influenza. The topic has trended as low as 83 and as high as 91 over the trailing 4-year period. Recent growth has been flat as the topic has hit a likely media saturation point between 88 and 90 points. The media coverage variability is fairly low, suggesting the coverage is consistent and not entirely episodic.