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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Scots top heart death rate league
Heart attack
Men have higher rates of heart disease than women everywhere in the UK
Scottish women are twice as likely to die from heart disease as those in south-west England, figures show.

British Heart Foundation data shows Scots men and women still have the highest heart disease death rates in the UK at 221 and 81 per 100,000.

Rates for men are next highest in north-west England at 210 and for women in Yorkshire at 72.

The UK average is 173 for men and 58 per 100,000 for women. Death rates have fallen in every region of the UK.

Big strides still need to be made in tackling the root causes of if coronary heart disease
Dr Knapton
British Heart Foundation

The BHF puts this down to breakthroughs in prevention, care and treatment including the development of new drugs called statins, pace-maker technology and clot busting medicines.

The BHF statistics from 2004 reveal huge regional differences in death rates from the disease.

Fewest men die in south-east England at 138 per 100,000 and the fewest women in the South West at 40 per 100,000.

Country by country, Northern Ireland has the second highest rate of deaths from coronary heart disease among men after Scotland, with 194 deaths per 100,000.

Wales has the second highest rate for women at 69 per 100,000.


England has the lowest death rates at 167 per 100,000 for men and 54 per 100,000 for women.

The figures show efforts to tackle the disease over the last 10 years have paid off with steady falls in death rates across the UK.

But these are less steep in Scotland than in England, Wales or Northern Ireland

Heart and circulatory disease continues to be Scotland's biggest killer, claiming nearly 21,000 lives or a third of all deaths in 2004.

More than 11,000 of these were women - 3,000 more than the number who died from cancer.

Stopping smoking is the single biggest step anyone can take to improving their health
Andy Kerr
Scottish Health Minister

And while fewer are dying from coronary heart disease in Scotland, more people are living with it.

BHF's director of prevention and care Dr Mike Knapton pointed out that Scotland had cut premature deaths among women by half between 1994 and 2004.

He said lifestyle measures such as messages on healthy diets, exercise and giving up smoking were getting through but he added: "It must not distract us from the big strides that still need to be made in tackling the root causes of coronary heart disease."

Scottish Health Minister Andy Kerr said Scotland was well on the way to meeting its targets for reducing deaths from heart disease and stroke.

"However, there is still more to be done, we will continue to target our work towards deprived communities to identify and treat the risk factors surrounding illnesses such as CHD and stroke.

"Stopping smoking is the single biggest step anyone can take to improving their health, the potential benefits to the health of the people of Scotland now the ban is in place are enormous."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health, which runs the NHS in England, said it was well on the way to meeting targets to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease by 40% by 2010.

She added that if current trends continue this target may be met as early as 2008.

Rates per 100,000, ages 35-74
Region Men Women
UK 173 58
Scotland 221 81
Wales 180 69
N Ireland 194 66
England 167 54
North East 204 72
Yorks & Humber 176 61
North West 210 70
East Mids 169 59
West Mids 179 57
East 142 42
South East 138 43
London 168 54
South West 141 40
Source: British Heart Foundation


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