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New drive to raise awareness of CHD

New figures show more than 100,000 people died from coronary heart disease (CHD) in the UK in 2005.

This means it is still the biggest killer across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Almost all of the 101,000 CHD deaths during that year were from heart attacks, and nearly 33,000 of these were in people aged under 75.

Scotland remains the worst country for heart attacks, with a premature death rate 70% higher than the south west of England for men, and 88% higher for women.

Throughout the UK, there is little difference between the sexes, as 56,000 men and 45,000 women died from CHD in 2005.

And over the last 10 years a total of more than 1.2 million people have died from heart attacks.

The BHF is now urging people who experience chest pain, or symptoms such as breathlessness, nausea or pain in the jaw, neck, arm or back that spreads to the chest, to call 999 immediately.

Dr Mike Knapton, the BHF's director of prevention and care, said: "Many of those who have died will have had some form of warning which they may not have realised was the beginnings of a heart attack.

"The pain can be subtle and not always seem immediately serious, so it can be easy to dismiss or ignore.

"But it could be immediately life-threatening, so taking early action by calling 999 is crucial to your survival chances. If you're unsure, don't lose time wondering - because doubt kills."

British Heart Foundation

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