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Heart disease deaths continue to fall, but at slower pace

Monday 26th February 2018
Deaths from coronary heart disease are continuing to fall, but at a slower rate, raising concerns from healthcare experts. Image: interstid via iStock
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The number of people in the UK dying from coronary heart disease fell by 24 per cent between 2007 and 2011, indicating progress in treating and tackling the illness.

However, new figures show that, between 2012 and 2016, deaths from heart disease fell by just 11 per cent, suggesting that efforts to successfully fight the condition have begun to slow down - and this is costing people's lives.

This is according to statistics from the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which show that while deaths from coronary heart disease are continuing to fall, they aren't doing so at a fast enough rate. Altogether, the figure has fallen by around half over the last 30 years.

Consequently, healthcare experts are concerned that decades of progress in reducing deaths from heart disease could be coming to an end, indicating that research efforts into new treatments need to be upped.

In addition, factors such as patients' blood pressure and cholesterol levels need to be more closely monitored in order to ensure potential heart disease risks are being caught as early on as possible, so that lifestyle changes can be made to try to lower this risk.

Overall, the latest figures from the BHF, which are for 2016, show that 22,615 under-75s died from the disease over the course of the year, which is equivalent to 434 patients a week. When cases among over-75s are taken into account too, the total number of people dying from coronary heart disease in a single 12-month period came in at over 66,000.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the BHF, commented: "This trend should be a wake-up call for everyone involved in fighting heart disease.

"To keep up the pace of progress, it's essential that charities and public bodies work together to provide the best possible care for those at risk of heart disease, and fund the promising areas of research that will save more lives."

Written by Mathew Horton

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