The mortality rate of heart patients in Israel is significantly lower than that of those in Europe, according to a new study.

Published this month in the European Heart Journal, the study compares data on medical treatment of serious heart attack victims in 29 European countries.

The Israeli data was collected in 2006 in the Israel Heart Society’s biannual survey of cardiology departments. It shows that 4.2 percent of Israeli heart patients in intensive care died, which is significantly less than the number who died in 20 other European countries that submitted data in this category.

The study also shows that the number of catheterizations in Israel following a heart attack is among the highest in Europe, at 2,726 per million people per year.

The number of intensive care units open 24 hours a day seven days a week for urgent catheterizations is also high compared to Europe and the procedure is provided speedily. Most Israelis (49%) who experience a heart attack are catheterized, rather than prescribed anti-clotting medication. All these factors contribute to the low mortality rates of Israel’s heart patients, according to Prof. Doron Zahger, secretary general of the Israel Heart Society.