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Last Updated: Monday, 10 January, 2005, 09:07 GMT
Heart deaths could be cut in half
Cardiac testing of patient
Heart disease deaths could be cut in half
The number of heart disease deaths could be halved, according to the Health Development Agency (HDA).

The disease, which is the nation's biggest killer, reports 30% more deaths in Merseyside and Liverpool than anywhere else in the country.

Heart disease has now reached "epidemic proportions" according to the HDA.

However, Prof Simon Capwell, from the University of Liverpool and an HDA expert, said "small lifestyle changes" could lead to "rapid benefits."

Medical interventions in recent years have led to more people surviving a heart attack or angina.

But experts have long recommended that prevention of heart disease, by not smoking, eating a healthy diet and exercising, can reduce the need for treatment.

Prof Capwell added that the risk factors for heart disease were well-known and most people knew what needed to be done to reduce the danger.

The recently launched Heart of Mersey Coronary Heart Disease Programme is aiming to cut the unusually high number of deaths from the disease in Merseyside.

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