Britain Amongst Worst in Europe for Death Due to Heart Disease

Britain is among the worst countries for deaths from heart disease with poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise to blame, a Europe-wide study has found.

Britain has some of the highest deaths rates from heart disease among women with only Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia doing worse.
For men the picture is similar with Greece and Finland also having higher rates than in Britain whereas countries like France, Germany, Iceland, Denmark and Italy perform much better.
Drugs to reduce heart attack risks ‘not working’ Twice as many men die of heart disease in Britain than in France and the Netherlands, while almost three times as many women die in Britain compared with those in Iceland and France.
Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the biggest killer in every European country including Britain, according to the EuroHeart report by the European Heart Network and European Society of Cardiology.
More people die of heart and circulatory disease than cancer yet the condition receives less attention.
The report, compiled from data relating to deaths in 2006, found Britain performs slightly better in stroke than in heart disease.
For stroke Britain is ranked tenth for men and eighth for women. Even so, twice as many men die of stroke in Britain than in Iceland, which has the lowest death rate, while women in Ireland and France have almost halve the death rate from stroke than in Britain.
Smoking, obesity, exercise and diet contribute to cardiovascular disease and the report looked at how countries performed on each of these.
In Britain just over one quarter of men and 23 per cent of women smoke compared with the highest rates in Greece for men at 47 per cent and in Germany for women at 31 per cent. This puts Britain about mid-table for smoking.
However on diet Britain is among the worst with 248 grams of fruit and vegetables available per person per day, with only Iceland and Ireland providing less. A large proportion of the British diet also comes from fat at 39 per cent compared with 31 per in Norway and 44 per cent in Slovenia.
Exercise helps to protect against heart disease by controlling weight but also by improving the health of blood vessels, lowering heart rate and increasing levels of good cholesterol.
But Britons are amongst the most sedentary in Europe with only a quarter of people achieving four or more days of moderate activity per week compared to more than two thirds in the Netherlands. Only Italy and Ireland are more sedentary nations, according to the report.

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