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Joanne Macaulay reports
"People in Glasgow continue to eat too much fatty foods"
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Tuesday, 21 November, 2000, 15:52 GMT
Glasgow 'heart disease leader'
A high-fat diet has contributed to the problem
People living in Glasgow are among the most likely in the world to die from heart disease.

According to research by the British Heart Foundation the city is top of the coronary heart disease league, along with Belfast.

Four people in Scotland die every hour from heart disease. It is estimated that the condition costs the UK economy many millions of pounds each year.

The BHF, which published its latest figures on Tuesday, said that in the developed world only Ireland and Finland had worse national records than the UK.

Women are being encouraged to exercise more
Overall, the disease is the biggest killer in Britain, with someone suffering a heart attack every two minutes.

The foundation also said that people who were miserable or lonely were more likely to suffer from some form of cardiovascular condition.

A stressful job, where people have little control over their work, increased the risk of heart disease by half.

The statistics also show that almost two out of five deaths from heart disease in women is due to lack of exercise.

'Comfort foods'

Professor Andrew Stepped, who was appointed to the BHF to look at the effects of stress, said: "Cigarette smoking, alcohol, high fat 'comfort foods' and inactive pastimes, such as watching TV, are some of the coping mechanisms that people employ to relieve stress.

"Unfortunately these are all risk factors that can increase the risk for heart disease massively."

The BHF has quantified the risk of developing heart disease because of different lifestyle factors.

It shows that:

  • 38% of coronary heart disease deaths in women are associated with physical inactivity

  • 47% of coronary heart disease deaths in women are linked to high cholesterol

  • 6% of coronary heart disease deaths in women are caused by obesity

  • 20% of coronary heart disease deaths in men are due to smoking

  • 16% of coronary heart disease deaths in men are due to high blood pressure.

A BHF spokeswoman said that women in particular needed to make lifestyle changes that would improve their health.

"Just rushing around all day isn't enough. We're not telling people they have to start playing squash but just walking to and from the station can give you the half hour of daily exercise you need."

The habit of inactivity is picked up early by girls, she said, while boys were more likely to be involved in active games like football.

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See also:

21 Nov 00 | Health
Ethnic heart disease gulf widens
14 Nov 00 | Health
Heart disease warning on women
15 Nov 00 | Health
Laughter 'protects the heart'
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