You are more likely to die from coronary heart disease if you live in the North West of England

HEART UK and MSD today launch the next stage of their ‘Heart Hotspots’ campaign to MPs at Westminster, in the hope of encouraging greater focus and addressing the wide geographic variation in heart disease:
Jan. 14, 2013 - PRLog -- • Despite the national average in coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality figures having dropped by 4.4% in recent years, the North West continues to have the highest number of deaths from CHD in the country, compared to the South Central, being more than 32% less (North West: 89.48 people per 100,000; South Central: 60.69 people per 100,000; national average: 74.21 people per 100,000)1
• The CHD mortality rate for people in Blackburn and Darwen, the highest CHD mortality PCT in England, is more than three times higher than for those living in Kensington & Chelsea in London, which has the lowest (125.82 vs 35.181 people per 100,000)1
• However, there are also wide variations within cities, even in the South. For example, the mortality rate in Kensington and Chelsea is a third of that in Newham (35.18 vs 107.99 people per 100,000) and the life expectancy of men living in this PCT is 8.9 years shorter than the former2, despite the PCTs being only twelve miles apart.

The Heart Hotspots campaign continues to raise awareness of the inequalities in CHD across England and encourages patients to take an active role in looking after their heart health.

Jules Payne, Chief Executive at HEART UK, says: “It is disappointing to see that CVD inequalities still exist across England. We are hoping that by sharing this information with MPs, particularly in the ‘hot spot’ areas, they will go back to their constituencies and ask ‘what more can be done?’ While we are making steady progress to reduce the national average, it still seems fundamentally wrong that depending on where you live, you are more likely to die from a heart attack in some places than others. People must have equal access to services, treatment, education and leisure facilities regardless of location, but also, patients must be prepared to use these services. As a minimum, HEART UK would encourage regular check-ups of cholesterol, blood pressure and waist circumference, especially in those with a family history of heart disease.”

This second phase of the campaign also looks at ‘exception reporting’ (or omission) of patients who have not reached the Quality Outcome Framework (QOF) target that their GP has set for them, in order to help address their high cholesterol levels. This means individual patients may be potentially exempt from their GP practice achievement scores as they are not likely to reach their target for this particular indicator. There are many reasons why this might happen: patients may not attend routine appointments; they may not be able to tolerate the appropriate medication; they may have other co-morbidities which affect cholesterol levels or treatment; or they may have only recently registered or been diagnosed with high cholesterol.

Consultant Lipidologist and Chair of HEART UK, Dr Robert Cramb comments, “It is a concern that over 160,000 patients in England do not achieve recommended cholesterol targets and are at greater risk of a cardiovascular event. We must continue to do as much as we can to tackle what is still one of the biggest killers in the UK. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is not always appropriate for some patients who are still struggling to manage their disease. Similarly, if patients are trying to act on the advice that their doctor is giving them and feel that this is not working for them, they should not be afraid to go back to the doctor and seek further help.”

HEART UK is a cholesterol charity focussing on prevention of heart disease. For more information on heart disease, including how to reduce your cardiovascular risk factors, visit or if you have any concerns about your heart health, speak to a healthcare professional.

– Ends –


The PCTs with the highest CHD mortality rates in England are as follows (national average 74.21)

·       Blackburn and Darwen Teaching Care Trust: 125.82 people per 100,000

·       Tameside and Glossop CT: 118.05 people per 100,000

·       Blackpool PCT: 113.91 people per 100,000

·       Newham PCT: 107.99 people per 100,000

·       Peterborough PCT: 106.99 people per 100,000

·       East Lancashire Teaching PCT: 106.63 people per 100,000

·       Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT: 105.08 people per 100,000

·       Leicester City PCT: 105.06 people per 100,000

·       Salford PCT: 104.86 people per 100,000

·       Manchester Teaching PCT: 103.09 people per 100,000

The PCTs with the lowest CHD mortality rates in England are as follows (national average 74.21):1

·       Kensington and Chelsea PCT: 35.18 people per 100,000

·       Richmond and Twickenham PCT: 47.54 people per 100,000

·       Westminster: 50.06 people per 100,000

·       Wandsworth PCT: 51.81 people per 100,000

·       Cambridgeshire PCT: 54.27 people per 100,000

·       North Somerset PCT: 54.91 people per 100,000

·       Solihull PCT: 55.82 people per 100,000

·       Oxfordshire PCT: 56.11 people per 100,000

·       Kingston PCT: 56.56 people per 100,000

·       Surrey PCT: 57.68 people per 100,000

Copyright © 2012, Data re-used with the permission of The Health and Social Care Information Centre.  All rights reserved.

About Heart Hotspots

Heart Hotspots is a campaign to help raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and importantly what people can do to help reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors. HEART UK, the cholesterol charity, along with MSD, a research-based pharmaceutical company that has been tackling cardiovascular disease (CVD) for over 50 years, have joined up to conduct the campaign.

About MSD

Today's MSD is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. MSD is a tradename of Merck & Co., Inc., with headquarters in Whitehouse Station, N.J., U.S.A. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programmes and partnerships. For more information, visit


HEART UK is the nation’s cholesterol charity, raising awareness of the hidden dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle and working to prevent premature deaths caused by high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. HEART UK raise awareness about the risks of high cholesterol, lobby for better detection of those at risk and provide information and resources to patients and health care professionals. For more information, visit
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