Figures reveal drop in number of local people dying from heart disease

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There has been a welcome drop in the number of local people dying from heart disease in recent years, according to a leading health charity.

Commenting on figures published recently by the NI Assembly, Fidelma Carter, Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke’s Public Health Director, said: “Within the Newtownabbey area, there has been good news regarding heart disease. The death rate from heart disease decreased by five per cent from 2011 to 2014, and the number of people on the Coronary Heart Disease Register, i.e. people living with a heart condition, has fallen by almost a fifth to 2,948.”

She continued: “As a charity, our vision is a Northern Ireland free of chest heart and stroke illnesses. Despite the death rate decreasing, we still want to ensure everyone is aware of the symptoms of a heart attack, as time is of the essence to give the person the best chance of survival possible. There are 12 heart attacks in Northern Ireland every day with three people sadly dying.”

Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke is warning that fast action is crucial and has launched its STOP campaign in an effort to make people aware of the symptoms of a heart attack and save lives.

STOP is an acronym for:

S - Something’s not right – symptoms can start slowly

T - Tightness or pain in the chest, pain in the arm, neck or jaw

O - Other symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea or sweating

P - Phone 999 immediately – the ambulance crew will do an ECG.

Fidelma continued: “Of course, prevention is better than a cure so it is also very important to understand what we can do to reduce our chances of having a heart attack in the first place. There are some factors that you can’t control which mean you have a higher risk of heart disease, but there are also some things over which you have more control - whether or not you smoke, your weight, the amount of physical activity you do, your diet etc.”

For more information log on to www.nichs.org.uk/heart