When it comes to the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), Americans seem to be heading in the right direction.  An article to be published in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found that Americans have cut their risk of dying from CHD in half over the past 2 decades by smoking less, monitoring their cholesterol intake, and reducing their high blood pressure.

The greatest difference in death rates was a result of primary prevention — reducing risk factors among healthy individuals, a prop to physicians and their preventive efforts. Those who had not had a heart attack accounted for 79% of the drop. The study is an encouraging reminder that efforts to reduce risk factors for CHD are becoming more successful.