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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 23:42 GMT 00:42 UK
Heart attacks 'every 15 minutes'
Heart monitor
The figures suggest a tenth of Scots have circulatory problems
Someone has a heart attack in Scotland every 15 minutes, according to a leading health charity.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said it hoped the statistic would help raise awareness of the dangers of ignoring chest pain.

It urged people to seek help at the first sign of trouble, instead of risking a potentially fatal seizure.

Scotland is the heart attack capital of the UK with a death rate 70% higher than the south east of England for men.

There were 10,331 deaths from coronary heart disease across the country in 2005, almost all of which would have been from heart attacks.

'Delay can kill'

Although the number has been falling consistently, it is still the UK's single biggest killer.

Currently nearly one in every 10 Scots is believed to live with some form of heart and circulatory disease.

BHF Scotland's Dr Mary Church said: "Doubting your symptoms and delaying taking action can kill.

"There are 140,000 people in Scotland who can testify to the fact that heart attacks are not always as they are portrayed on TV.

"Sadly, there are more than a million more in the last 10 years, throughout the UK, who have not survived, and aren't here to tell us what it feels like.

"Many of those who have died will have had some form of warning which they may not have realised was the beginnings of a heart attack."

The most common symptoms of a heart attack are central chest pain spreading to the arms, neck or jaw and feeling sick, sweaty or short of breath.

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