The research looked at death rates from heart disease in England between 2000 and 2007 and found rates fell from 229 to 147 deaths per 100,000 – a decrease of 36 per cent. Researchers say around half the decrease was down to improved treatment uptake.
But any improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and physical activity were negated by an increase in body mass index and diabetes in the most deprived socioeconomic groups.
Doireann Maddock, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “More people, no matter where they live or how much they earn, are now taking advantage of the treatment on offer to heart patients. That change has had a substantial and welcome effect on the numbers dying from heart disease.
“But the problem we still face is that obesity and diabetes are risking the lives of too many people in the most deprived communities, and that has to change.
“There has already been a considerable reduction in cardiovascular deaths over the last decade but not everyone has benefitted equally. Inequalities are a key challenge for the forthcoming Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy and the Government must make closing the inequality gap the key test for success for the new strategy.”
The study into heart disease death rates was published in the journal PLoS Medicine.
Source: The British Heart Foundation
Issued in response to: “Analysing Recent Socioeconomic Trends in Coronary Heart Disease Mortality in England, 2000–2007: A population Modelling Study.” Bajekal M, Scholes S, Love H, Hawkins N, O’Flaherty M, et al. (2012)
PLoS Med 9(6): e1001237. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001237.