Heart disease is the biggest killer of English

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More than one in four deaths in the UK is caused by heart disease.

Around 170,000 people a year, making it the UK's biggest killer.

    Heart disease is Britain's biggest killer - supporting one in four lives

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Heart disease is Britain's biggest killer – supporting one in four livesCredit: Getty – Collaborator

But things are improving as new research has found that heart attack deaths have almost halved in just a decade.

A study by the Imperial College of London found that the number of English people dying from heart disease decreased by 42.5% between 2005 and 2015.

Experts believe this is largely due to the fact that fewer people smoke with the number of smokers in England decreasing by more than a million since 2014.

And rates should fall from the current level of 14.9 percent by 2023, according to Public Health England.

The deaths have almost halved

The latest research shows that in 2005, 80 people out of 100,000 were killed by heart attacks, heart failure and other heart conditions.

By 2015, this figure had dropped to only 46 out of 100,000.

But high rates of obesity and diabetes could mean that rates start rising again, the boffins warned.

The British are less likely to die of heart disease than Germans and Americans and seven times less likely to be killed than those in Ukraine.

The French and Japanese have some of the healthiest hearts in the world – with a mortality rate of just 20 per 100,000.

Still deadly

The analysis of the figures of the World Health Organization has shown that, despite the decline, heart disease is still Britain's biggest killer.

Dedicates twice as many lives as lung cancer and 18 times more than motor vehicle accidents, reports Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Dr Alexandra Nowbar researcher said: "In recent years we have witnessed a significant drop in smoking rates, which has been good news for our hearts.

"However, obesity, blood pressure and the rate of type 2 diabetes are on the rise, and if we do not take these into account and encourage people to follow healthy lifestyles, we might see the trend of declining heart disease ".

Since heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK, it is important to know the first warnings to be observed.

Professor David Newby, of the British Heart Foundation, says there are 11 symptoms to take seriously …

1. Chest pain

It is the classic sign of a heart attack, yet many people do not realize that it could be a medical emergency.

Professor Newby says: "If you suffer from chest pains and feel extremely sick, you should dial 999 and take an ambulance as soon as possible.

"If it is a heart attack, it is usually described as a heaviness, tension or pressure in the chest: people often describe it as" an elephant sitting on my chest "or" it seemed like a tight band around my chest ", that kind of constriction of feeling.

"If chest pains occur when you are exercising, but go away when you stop, it suggests that it is more likely to be angina.

"That would mean you should go see a doctor, but you don't have to call 999."

2. Feeling sick

Of course, not every attack of nausea could mean a heart attack – but if it is accompanied by pain, then the alarm bells should go off.

Professor Newby said: "If you feel intense chest pain even when you are sitting doing nothing and you also feel bad, it's time to call an ambulance."

If you have any discomfort, but not intense pain, just as you are sick, call the National Health Service 111 for advice.

3. Stomach pain

It may seem a little indigestion, but sometimes that pain could be the first sign of a heart attack.

Professor Newby says: "Because the heart, the esophagus (the passage between the mouth and the stomach) and the stomach are all one next to the other, the challenge, both for members of the public and for doctors, is to burn or indigestion -type of pain and heart pain can be difficult to untangle.

"You could call the NHS 111 service for advice: they have certain algorithms that they apply, but they are not perfect as there are no hard and fast rules applicable to everyone."

4. Feeling sweaty

Working up a sweat when you're at the gym or because it's a very hot day, it's nothing to worry about.

But feeling warm and slimy along with chest pains is a sign that you should call an ambulance.

5. Pain in the legs

Professor Newby says: "If you feel a gripping and cramped sensation in your calves as you walk, it may be worth seeing your doctor, as this may be a marker of PAD (peripheral arterial disease).

"It is more common in smokers and people with diabetes."

6. Arm pain

It is not one you could associate with your heart – but a pain in the arm is another warning sign.

If the pain is falling down the arm, especially on the left side, or goes into the neck, it means that it is more likely to be related to the heart than to indigestion.

Prof Newby says: "If it does not go away, or if you know you have heart disease and have used GTN (glyceryl trinitrate) two or three times without any visible effect, you should seek emergency medical advice."

7. Jaw or back pain

For some, the pain may be in other unusual places like the jaw or the back.

There is some evidence that women's symptoms are more likely to vary from "classic" chest pain and we know that women are less likely to seek medical care and treatment.

8. Feeling of suffocation

The word "angina" actually means suffocation, says Prof Newby.

Sometimes pain can be felt in the throat and people tend to describe it as a feeling of suffocation.

If it continues and you have not been diagnosed with a heart condition, you should call 111, he says.

9. Swollen ankles

Professor Newby says swollen ankles should never be ignored, especially if they get really big.

He says: "It may be an indicator of heart failure, but it is also very common and has many other causes.

"It could be just as easily from the tablets you are taking – for example, blood pressure medications can lead to ankle swelling."

10. Extreme fatigue

Feeling tired all the time can be a symptom of heart failure, as well as other conditions.

Prof Newby says: "Many of my patients tell me that they are tired, whether or not they have heart failure, whether or not they have angina. It is difficult, because it is so non-specific."

If you are tired and have worked long hours or stay up late, it's probably not your heart.

But if you start feeling extremely tired and your lifestyle hasn't changed, it's a good idea to chat with your family doctor.

11. Irregular heart beat

In most cases, a skipped heartbeat is usually benign, according to Professor Newby.

But if it's going very fast and jumping around erratically then it's probably time to see your family doctor.


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