Middle-aged males in Newham second highest at risk of heart disease, says study

Newham is a heart disease hotspot, according to a new university study revealing that the rise in deaths were highest among middle-aged males.

Research carried out by Imperial College London was published last week analysing mortality rates from heart and circulatory disease – the leading cause of death in the UK – between 1982 and 2006.

It found that males aged 30 to 64 in the Stratford and New Town ward were found to have the second highest number of deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in London behind Hackney Wick.

Females aged 30 to 64 in the Green Street East ward were found to have the fourth highest mortality rate from CVD in London.

But females and males aged 65 or over in Newham did not even feature in the capital’s top 20 for deaths.

The authors of the report in the International Journal of Epidemiology saw an overall decline in national mortality rates from CVD but the economic divide in the number of heart-related deaths in those 65 and over had widened since the 1980s.

Professor Majid Ezzati, co-author of the report, said: “These results are a valuable measure of the performance of the health system at a local level, which includes the NHS and public health services as well as other prevention strategies. “We know how to reduce cardiovascular mortality: we have to reduce major risk factors like smoking, and provide good health services that help both with prevention through high-quality GP services and with treatment.

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“We need to focus on putting these into practice in places that are behind.”

Mubeen Bhutta, policy manager at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The overall decline in heart disease death rates should be something to celebrate but, worryingly, that improvement has clearly not benefited everyone equally.

“If we’re going to make a proper job of tackling England’s biggest killer, eradicating inequalities must be at the heart of the Government’s new cardiovascular disease strategy.”