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01/02/2002

UK coronary heart death rate drops by 10 per cent

Coronary Heart Disease deaths have dropped by a staggering 13,000 cases in just two years in the UK according to the latest figures from the British Heart Foundation.

Better medicines and improved surgical techniques taken together with a decrease in smoking have contributed to the 10 per cent decline - but an estimated 2.6 million people are still living with the Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).

CHD remains the UK’s single biggest killer, taking the lives of nearly 125,000 people per year.

At a press conference the British Heart Foundation (BHF) called on the UK Government to tackle the CHD by addressing the growing levels of inactivity and obesity in adults and children and reversing the UK’s couch potato society.

Professor Sir Charles George, Medical Director at the BHF said: "Medical research can do so much to save lives, but in the long run people must take responsibility for their actions. Well over a third of all CHD is caused by inactivity but alarmingly, figures published today show that a staggering one in three of all adults in the UK do not even take part in 30 minutes of physical activity a week."

The new statistics also reveal that the UK now has obesity levels similar to that in the United States and for men, has the eighth highest level of obesity in the world.

To kick-start Britains’ sedentary population, the BHF has invested £1.2 million into 'Walking the Way to Health' – a joint initiative with the Countryside Agency.

This scheme aims to get five million sedentary people walking by 2005 through local walking schemes and by raising the profile of walking as easy, cheap and sociable exercise. (AMcE)

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