SHOCKING figures show that 155 people in Wigan are killed prematurely by a heart attack each year.
Research, released by the British Heart Foundation, shows that the average annual rate for the years 2011 and 2013 for Wigan is the third highest in the North West after Liverpool and Manchester.
The charity released the figures as it launches a new campaign to highlight how heart conditions, including heart attack, suddenly devastate families across the country on a daily basis.
The BHF estimates that 22,000 people aged under 75 died in 2014 following a heart attack, 3,000 of which lived in the North West.
Dr Tim Dalton, a GP and chair of NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Heart attacks are sadly an unfortunately common cause of deaths in Wigan borough.
“They are most commonly the result of coronary heart disease which is a condition in which the arteries to the heart get clogged up with cholesterol.
“You are at risk of having or developing CHD if you smoke, eat a fatty diet, drink too much alcohol and are overweight or obese. You can also be more likely to have CHD if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of heart problems.”
Eating healthier and doing more exercise can help reduce the risk of CHD according to Dr Dalton.
He said: “Most of us know that we should lead healthier lives and look after our bodies more, but it often seems overwhelming.
“Making healthier choices with your food, increasing your levels of exercise and reducing the amount you drink and smoke will all have a positive effect on your body and reduce the chance of a heart attack.
“I advise my patients to start with small, manageable changes. That way you will have early successes which will keep you motivated to