A Wessex charity has welcomed news that Britain has cut the rate of heart deaths by almost two thirds, but warns there is more to be done.

The research unveiled by Bournemouth University last week showed a dramatic drop in heart disease deaths, attributed largely to improvements in healthcare and the public smoking ban.

Prompted by the news, Wessex Heartbeat is now urging local people to drive down heart disease even further by getting regular heart checks while keeping fit and healthy on a day-to-day basis.

Britain leads the way in cutting heart deaths – but there’s still work to be done
John Munro

John Munro, chief executive for Wessex Heart said:

“The reduction in heart deaths is great news – however, we are not out the woods yet. Heart disease is still responsible for 25% of deaths in the UK – yet simple changes to your lifestyle can greatly impact your overall cardiovascular health.”

The charity, which this week launched its latest ‘Healthy Heart, says people can reduce their risk of heart disease by living a healthy lifestyle.

John said: “There needs to be greater funding into the prevention and awareness of heart disease, and much more education around better nutrition and exercise, which should be starting in schools. Recent studies suggest that rising rates of obesity and diabetes in younger people may eventually contribute to this actually reversing, with hearts disease again increasing.”

He added that people who do encounter heart problems in the region have access to some of the best care in the UK: “It’s important to realise that we have a much lower than average health expenditure compared to other countries, and charities like Wessex Heartbeat are critical to continued heart care,” he said.  “In the same time period of this study, Wessex Heartbeat has invested £16m in cardiac care for the Wessex Region, making the Cardiac Centre at Southampton General Hospital one of the top centres in the UK.”

For more information on Wessex Heartbeat or to join its latest healthy heart challenge visit: www.heartbeat.co.uk