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Glaswegians have greatest heart disease death risk in UK

PEOPLE in Glasgow have a greater chance of dying from heart disease than any other region in Britain, a charity has revealed.

fight: British Heart Foundation chief executive Simon Gillespie.
fight: British Heart Foundation chief executive Simon Gillespie.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed that Glaswegians, who have just welcomed some of the world's elite athletes to the city for the Commonwealth Games, are four times as likely to die prematurely from heart and circulatory disease than people living in Hart, Hampshire.

In Glasgow 144 people out of every 100,000 under the age of 75 prematurely die from cardiovascular disease (CVD), while only 40 out of every 100,000 in Hart prematurely die because of such problems.

Three Scottish local authorities areas are included in the list of the five areas with the highest death rates for CVD.

Making up the top five behind Glasgow were Manchester (133.9), Blackpool (125.3), Dundee (123.2) and Inverclyde (122.9), the charity found.

Games officials have hoped that the legacy of the event will encourage local people to get fit.

They said they want to build on the enthusiasm surrounding the Games by encouraging people to be more physically active. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said its figures showed that there was an "unacceptable" divide in the heart health of the nation.

They said there were "shocking inequalities" in the number of deaths from heart and circulatory disease.

Of the top five local authorities with the lowest death rates from CVD, none are in Scotland with parts of Hampshire, Surrey and Cambridgeshire topping the list.

Across the UK around 100 people under the age of 75 die from CVD every day. It accounts for more than one in four of all UK deaths, the charity said.

"These figures are a stark reminder of the unacceptable number of people that lose their lives to cardiovascular disease every year, often increased by the place they live," said BHF chief executive Simon Gillespie.

"There is still so much more we need to do. We've made huge progress in the fight against cardiovascular disease, with 70 per cent of heart attack victims now surviving to go home to their families. With the help of our supporters, we'll increase investment and accelerate our world-class research that could save the lives of more people that die prematurely.

"We remain determined to win the fight against cardiovascular disease, improving the lives of the seven million people living with it and saving those that currently die too young."

In its new strategy the charity has said the key to preventing more premature deaths is to make sure research advancements go further and faster.

In April, a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that people in Glasgow have the worst life expectancy in the whole of Britain.

It revealed that only three-quarters of boys and 85 per cent of girls born in the city will reach their 65th birthday.

The average life expectancy of babies born in the city in 2010 to 2012 was 72.6 years for boys and 78.5 years for girls - eight to 10 years behind the best performing areas in the UK.

Boys born in East Dorset, the best performing area for males, can expect to live until they reach 83 and baby girls born in Purbeck can expect to reach 86.6 years.

The ONS report stated that Glasgow was consistently ranked as the area with the lowest male and female life expectancy between 2006-08 and 2010-12.

Last year Glasgow researchers writing in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health also called for action to address the high level of alcohol-related deaths among women in the city.

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