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Heart disease deaths almost halve in a decade

Decline in smoking is a key contributor

The number of people in the UK dying from heart disease almost halved between 2005 and 2015.

The UK death rate fell from 80 deaths per 100,000 in 2005 to 46 per 100,000 in 2015, according to the study from Imperial College London.

However, the condition remains the leading cause of death in the UK and across the globe.

The research showed heart disease caused double the number of deaths in the UK than lung cancer (the second biggest cause of death) in 2015, and 18 times the number of deaths compared to traffic accidents (2.5 per 100,000 people).

Stroke was found to be the third largest cause of death in the UK, with 24 deaths per 100,000 people.

The research, which was published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes also analysed the number of UK deaths from infectious diseases, liver disease and respiratory conditions. They found the number of deaths was five, 10 and 20 per 100,000 respectively.

The scientists behind the research said although the reduction in mortality rate over the last decade is to be celebrated, factors such as obesity and diabetes keep the death toll too high.

Dr Alexandra Nowbar, first author of the research from Imperial’s National Heart and Lung Institute, said much of the decline in heart disease deaths may be due to a fall in the number of people who smoke.

“We’ve seen a significant drop in smoking rates in recent years which has been good news for our hearts,” she stated. “However, obesity, blood pressure and rates of type 2 diabetes are on the rise, and if we don’t keep tabs on these – and encourage people to follow healthy lifestyles, we could see the trend of falling heart disease deaths reverse in the future.”