More living with heart problems

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More people are likely to die of circulatory illnesses in Upper Bann than of cancer, a recently published report has revealed.

The Constituency Profile for the Upper Bann area has shown that the average annual death rate for circulatory illnesses between 2008 and 2012, was 346 per 100,000 people.

Fidelma Carter, Public Health Director for local health charity Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke said: “The Constituency Profiles outline the things which are of concern in the areas in which we live – health, education, unemployment, crime and road traffic accidents. It is good to see statistics on circulatory deaths highlighted in this way, but it is disappointing that they are higher than deaths from cancer or respiratory illnesses.

“Within the Craigavon area, there is good news and bad news regarding heart disease. “The good news is that the death rate from heart disease decreased by 3% from 2011 to 2014. However, the bad news is that the number of people on the Coronary Heart Disease Register, i.e. people living with a heart condition, increased, though only slightly, to 3,669.

“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.

For more information www.nichs.org.uk/heart.