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Facts on Heart Disease and Stroke
Heart disease - Ireland's No.1 Killer
Approximately 10,000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease (CVD) - including coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and other circulatory diseases. CVD is the most common cause of death in Ireland, accounting for 33% of all deaths. The largest number of these deaths relate to CHD - mainly heart attack - at 5,000. 13% of premature deaths (under age 65) are from CVD.
Each year, approximately 10,000 Irish people have a stroke and around 2,000 die – more deaths than breast cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer combined. An estimated 30,000 people are living in the community with disabilities as a result of a stroke. This makes stroke the third biggest cause of death in Ireland and the biggest cause of acquired disability. The Irish Heart Foundation funded the first ever national audit of stroke care in Ireland. In November 2009, the Irish Heart Foundation launched its Stroke Manifesto calling for urgent action to overhaul stroke services. Go to the Irish Heart Foundation’s stroke campaign website for more on the action the Foundation is taking for better stroke services .
Deaths from ischemic heart disease including heart attack increased up to the 1970s when it peaked at 54% of deaths in 1974. Since then the trend has been moving towards a reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease.
However, Ireland is still above average for premature deaths from CVD for the EU member countries before 2004. Last available figures show that Ireland has 52 premature deaths per 100,000 in comparison with the (pre 2004) EU average of 42. However, with the inclusion of the Eastern European accession states, the average EU figure for the equivalent period rises to 101 premature deaths per 100,000.
Death rates from stroke have been declining steadily since the 1970s and the mortality rate from stroke in Ireland is slightly below the European average.