Significant reductions in deaths from two of Scotland’s biggest killers

Targets for heart problems and strokes were both met

DEATHS from heart disease and stroke in Scotland have fallen significantly during the past 15 years, according to figures published today.

Annual heart disease statistics show that the mortality rate for under 75s has fallen from 124.6 to 49 per 100,000 between 1995 and 2010, a reduction of 60.7%, exceeding the target of 60%.

.In relation to strokes, the mortality rate for the under 75s fell from 17.2 per to 15.3 per 100,000 between 2009 and 2010 – an annual decrease of almost 11%, with the mortality figures for 1995 to 2010 showing a 59% reduction, compared to a target of 50%.

Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, said: “It is a fantastic achievement that NHS Scotland has met its targets in reducing the number of premature deaths from stroke and heart disease.

“Between 1995 and 2010, not only have we exceeded the stroke target with a 59% cut in deaths from stroke among under 75s, we’ve also seen a 60.7% reduction – against a 60% target – in early mortality rates from coronary heart disease.”

“For too long, heart disease and stroke have played their part in the premature death of too many Scots – a toll which has weighed heavy on this nation and the families whose lives have been affected.

“However, these figures show that the tide is turning, that we’ve managed to cut mortality rates in the most deprived areas faster than anywhere else, that we have narrowed the gap between ourselves and the rest of Europe and that our strategy for tackling heart disease and stroke is delivering real results for NHS Scotland and the people ofScotland.

“There is however more to do. Future improvements will largely depend on people’s lifestyles – eating better, being more active, stopping smoking and drinking sensibly. We are taking firm action in all these areas to support people to live healthier lives.

“I finally want to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of NHS staff who have helped us achieve these significant improvements to date and look forward to working with them to build on these achievements for the future.”