Heart disease falling in Europe

20 August 2014

The European Heart Journal has published new research that suggests less people are dying from heart disease and strokes across the continent, but there are great discrepancies between countries.

The study, led by research associate from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Dr Melanie Nichols, found that death rates from cardiovascular disease varied significantly between European countries. It discovered that the death rate for Russians between 55 and 60-years-old was much higher than the equivalent rate in France for people 20 years older.

It means that cardiovascular disease remains the single, greatest cause of death among Europeans and results in more deaths than cancer in many countries. However, the researchers found that some nations had lower levels of deaths from heart disease than cancer, which shows progression in preventative measures and education for heart disease.

Dr Nick Townsend, senior researcher at the BHF Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and co-author of the research, said fewer people are getting the disease in the first place and preventative measures, such as statin use, have helped people identified as high risk of cardiovascular disease.

"However, increases in some risk factors, such as rising levels of obesity, suggest that these decreasing trends may be in danger of reversing," added Dr Townsend.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 

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