From the Independent: "It is one of medicine's mysteries: what has caused Britain's plummeting rate of heart disease over the last decade? Deaths from heart attacks have halved since 2002 and no one is quite sure why. Similar changes have occurred in countries around the world but the death rate in England, especially, has fallen further and faster than almost anywhere. ... The researchers looked at 840,000 men and women in England who had suffered a total of 861,000 heart attacks between 2002 and 2010. Overall, the death rates fell by 50 per cent in men and 53 per cent in women. ... For the last 70 years we have been in the grip of a heart disease epidemic that began in the 1940s, rose to a peak in the 1970s and then began to fall. All Western countries were affected and all followed broadly the same pattern. ... researchers conclude that just under half the decline in heart attack death rates in England over the last decade is due to better hospital treatment; the rest is due to changes in lifestyle and the widespread use of pills to lower cholesterol and blood pressure." One might theorize that - at the high level - increased heart disease across the last seven decades is a consequence of the fat and sedentary lifestyles that tend to accompany increases in wealth across the board, while reductions are largely due to improvements in medical technology.