Gene therapy for cardiovascular disease
INTRODUCTION Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States today (American Heart Association, 2001). In 1998, over 450,000 deaths were attributable to ischemic heart disease. This year over 1.1 million citizens will have a new or recurrent myocardial infarction. One of the consequences of non-fatal myocardial infarction is congestive heart failure (CHF), afflicting 22% of men and 46% of women surviving heart attacks over the subsequent five years. Currently, there are over 4.7 million Americans living with CHF, and these patients have a five year mortality of 50%. The mainstay of therapy for ischemic heart disease is revascularization. Nearly 2,000,000 cardiac catheterizations and 553,000 coronary artery bypass surgical procedures are performed annually (American Heart Association, 2001).