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Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 01:11 GMT
Angina sufferers up to two million
Heart attack sufferer
Coronary heart disease costs the NHS 10bn a year
The number of people suffering from the potentially serious heart condition angina in the UK is now more than two million.

A study for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed there are 330,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

The BHF's Morbidity Supplement 2001 also found there were currently 750,000 people living in the UK with heart failure.

The data also show that there has been a steady rise in the likelihood of surviving a heart attack. There are now 1.3 million people living in the UK who have had a heart attack.

Many people believe that coronary heart disease through a heart attack is 'a good way to go.' However that is often far from the truth

Dr Vivien Press, of the British Heart Foundation

But although the fact that people are recovering is good news it has serious cost implications for both the NHS and social services.

Coronary heart disease currently costs the UK 10bn a year.

Heart failure

Angina is the most common symptom of coronary heart disease. It is a pain caused when the heart's coronary arteries are severely narrowed.

It can lead to heart attacks or the necessity for a heart bypass operation.

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is not pumping efficiently. Symptoms include tiredness, breathlessness and swelling of the ankles and feet.

Coronary heart disease facts
1.1 million men and 1 million women in the UK have or have had angina
There are 274,000 heart attacks each year
1.3 million people living in the UK have survived a heart attack
There are 63,000 new cases of heart failure each year - meaning 760,000 people in UK living with heart failure

Dr Vivien Press, assistant medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said coronary heart disease left a legacy of suffering.

"Many people believe that coronary heart disease through a heart attack is 'a good way to go.' However that is often far from the truth.

"Coronary heart disease is not only the single most common cause of death and premature death in the UK but also one of the biggest causes of suffering and disability."

Healthier lifestyle

Dr Press said the answer to fighting heart disease was to promote a "healthier lifestyle".

Joy Rowley has had angina for seven years, she was a heavy smoker and suffered a heart attack.

Frequent and painful angina attacks followed.

She said cutting out smoking, taking more exercise and eating more healthily, could prevent others suffering the sort of ill health which has dogged her life.

"I can no longer work and will be on medication for the rest of my life.

"I'm pleased that recent advances mean that people like me live longer, but no one should think having the disease is all about having a quick heart attack.

"I don't want others to suffer from avoidable heart disease as I have.

"So I urge everyone not to smoke, to do exercise and eat lots of fruit and vegetables to protect their hearts."

A new BHF video for patients called "Your life in your hands" informs patients how to get back to a full life following a heart attack and how to reduce further heart problems.

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15 Mar 01 | Health
Obsessives risk heart attacks
06 Mar 01 | Health
Heart failure damage reversed
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