People suffering heart attacks or chest pain are much less likely to die than they were just several years ago, according to new research by the University of Edinburgh.
The international study showed a significant drop in the rate of heart failure and death, which coincides with an increased use of certain drugs, tests and procedures.
From 1999 the use of heart protecting drugs such as aspirin, statins and clot-reducing drugs, blood pressure-reducing medication and blood thinners increased dramatically.
An increase was also observed in the rates of angiography and angioplasty, by which blocked arteries can be located and widened.
Keith Fox, lead author of the paper, said: "These findings are extremely encouraging and suggest that we're definitely improving heart care and patients' outcomes through the uniform use of evidence-based proven treatments and the development of guidelines to help providers understand the evidence behind them."
The study did not consider other factors such as diet, exercise and whether patients smoke, which could also influenced recovery as people increasingly recognise the impact of such factors on their health.