Deaths from first heart attacks are decreasing in women and in men; in blacks and in whites.
Deaths are down about 30 percent in the past decade and a new study says that's because first heart attacks are now less severe.
Better prevention is being credited. Dr. Merle Myerson says more Americans understand the risk of heart disease and are doing more to prevent it -- like lowering their blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as eating right and avoiding too much salt.
Another reason -- hospitals are providing much better care for patients. Dr. Myerson says huge progresses are being made in the treatment of acute heart attacks. This means better medications and better interventions, such as angioplasty and putting in stents.
But there is still work to be done. The study found that many people don't get themselves to the hospital quickly enough after feeling chest pain.
Dr. Myerson says this is an area where people need to be more vigilant. Once a person feels chest pain or thinks they might be having a heart attack, they should call 911 and get to the hospital.
Doctors say treatment is key, but they hope their study puts an even bigger emphasis on prevention.