Heart deaths falling

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SMALLER numbers of Wiganers are dying from heart attacks than ever before, according to the latest figures.

A report released by the NHS Information Centre showed an 11.71 per cent improvement on last year for the estimate of deaths for people aged 35-74 from a heart attack within 30 days of admission to hospital.

The stats showed that in the borough, an estimated 5,730 per 100,000 (compared to the England estimate of 5,098) of people died from heart attacks last year.

Wigan Borough’s Director of Public Health Dr Kate Ardern says: “We’re really pleased that we have seen a decline in the number of heart attack deaths in our borough but we are not complacent. The figure for Wigan is still higher than the North West average and we recognise it is a problem. The causes can be linked to a number of factors including lifestyle, diet, lack of physical activity and stress levels.

“In Wigan we have introduced a successful ‘find and treat’ programme which acts as a screening process for residents aged between 40 and 74.

“A health check assesses the risk of the individual patient developing cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years. An action plan, tailored to the needs of the individual is then drawn up in a bid to reduce their chances of developing the condition.

“There are many important prevention activities that residents can easily take, these include stopping smoking, eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight. We would urge anyone in our borough with concerns about their health who wants to make changes to their lifestyle for the better, to make a positive start and speak to their GP.”

Nationally, hospitals have seen the annual number of emergency admissions for heart attacks among patients aged 35 to 74 drop by more than a quarter in a decade and the death rate nearly halve.

Emergency admissions fell from 42,400 in 2000/01 to 30,600 in 2009/10, NHS Information Centre figures show.

During the same period the death rate for within 30 days of an emergency admission for heart attack almost halved; dropping from one in 11 to one in 20.