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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 13:06 GMT
Action plea on cholesterol levels
Blood being taken
Heart UK is calling for more cholesterol testing to be carried out
The Scottish Government must take urgent action to address the high cholesterol levels north of the border, according to a new report.

The study by the charity Heart UK said raised cholesterol increased the risk of heart disease and strokes.

It is estimated the conditions cost the Scottish economy more than 1.8bn each year.

Heart UK has called for more provision of cardiovascular risk assessment, including cholesterol testing.

The report acknowledged that mortality rates for heart disease were actually decreasing significantly.

This has a huge social and economic implication on our future well-being
Michael Livingston
Heart UK

However, it warned that an increasing number of people were now living with the consequences of heart disease and stroke.

It also claimed that by 2020 heart disease would be the leading cause of disablement in the UK.

The report advised that high-risk patients should have greater access to treatment through appropriate drugs.

Heart UK director Michael Livingston said: "The death rate from cardiovascular disease and heart disease in particular in Scotland still remains one of the highest in Europe.

"While this may have declined significantly in recent years, the number of people living with the disease has continued to rise.

We know we must do more, particularly to reduce the gap between the most affluent and least affluent in society
Shona Robison
Public Health Minister

"This has a huge social and economic implication on our future well-being."

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said the latest statistics showed a fall in deaths from stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD).

"But we know we must do more, particularly to reduce the gap between the most affluent and least affluent in society," she said.

"The first step in lowering cholesterol and in turn reducing rates of CHD is persuading people to make lifestyle changes.

"We are taking forward a range of work to encourage people to take more exercise, eat more fruit and vegetables and reduce their salt, sugar and fat intake."

SEE ALSO
Drop in heart and stroke deaths
30 Oct 07 |  Scotland
Health fears as waistlines expand
20 Aug 07 |  Scotland
More Scottish births than deaths
27 Jul 07 |  Scotland
Deprivation fuels health problems
19 Jul 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Heart attacks 'every 15 minutes'
18 Jul 07 |  Scotland

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