Published On: Fri, Aug 8th, 2014 on 12:31 pm

‘Far too many people’ in Leeds dying early from cardiovascular disease

Too many people are dying young from devastating cardiovascular conditions, according to a leading heart charity.

According to figures released by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), over 82,000 people in Leeds are living with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and it is taking the lives of almost 2,000 people in the region each year.

It causes more than one in four of all deaths nationally, and it is believed that too many people are dying young from cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the BHF, said: “We’ve made huge progress in the fight against cardiovascular disease, with 70 per cent of heart attack victims now surviving to go home to their families.

“But these figures are a stark reminder that far too many people in Leeds are dying early from cardiovascular disease. There is still so much more we need to do.”

BHF has outlined its ambition to reduce premature deaths from the disease by 25% by 2025 through increasing its investment in research and reducing the time it takes to turn new discoveries into life-saving medical treatments.

Mark Kearney, BHF Professor of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research at Leeds University, is leading research into how diabetes increases a person’s risk of dying from a heart attack.

Professor Kearney said: “Far too many people die prematurely from cardiovascular disease in Leeds and across the UK. But through our research we’re fighting back.

“By carrying out research into the increased risk of heart attacks in people with diabetes and improving diagnosis of people with heart disease before they have a heart attack, we could save thousands of lives.”

Leeds University is also a pioneering centre for imaging the heart and its blood vessels.

MRI scanners are being used to diagnose heart disease or damage, which could be much better for patients than more commonly used ones which require the patient to be exposed to harmful radiation.

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