Deaths from heart disease and stroke fall 40 per cent in decade

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Deaths from heart disease and strokes have fallen, new figures have shown.

The number of deaths from coronary heart disease fell by 8.1 per cent between 2010 and 2011, while stroke deaths fell by 5.7 per cent.

The latest figures show a continuation of the downward trend over the past decade, which has seen heart disease deaths decrease by 43.2 per cent since 2002 and stroke deaths fall by 41.8 per cent. Incidence rates for coronary heart disease have decreased by 28.9 per cent over the past decade, while strokes are down 21.7 per cent.

The statistics were welcomed by Health Secretary Alex Neil, who was visiting the new Victoria Hospital in Glasgow yesterday to see a cardiac rehabilitation class in action.

Mr Neil said: “It is fantastic that NHSScotland is continuing to make significant reductions in deaths from heart disease and stroke. We’ve also managed to narrow the gap between the richest and poorest areas in Scotland, showing our strategy for tackling heart disease and stroke is delivering real results. There is, however, more to do. More people are surviving heart attacks and living with heart disease – they need high access to high-quality rehabilitation and support.”

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland’s (CHSS) chief executive David Clark said: “CHSS very much welcomes the continuing fall in deaths from heart disease and stroke in Scotland – two of our big three killers. This has been achieved both by improved prevention and treatment, and by people adopting healthier lifestyles.”

Ben McKendrick, senior policy and public affairs manager at British Heart Foundation Scotland, said: “NHSScotland, the Scottish Government and organisations like British Heart Foundation Scotland need to work together, and harder than ever, to ensure highly cost-effective services such as these are reaching every patient who needs them.

“For example, much more still needs to be done to provide these services for people with heart failure and angina.”