Premature mortality from heart disease has declined dramatically in Wales

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A new report indicates that premature deaths resulting from heart disease have declined drastically in Wales. The findings were published in the Welsh Government’s Annual Statement of Progress on Heart Disease.

According to the report, there has been a reduction of 68% in premature mortality (before 75 y of age) from coronary heart disease during the last 20 y, with a 20% drop since 2009 alone. This could be partly attributable to better diagnosis of heart disease by GPs, new public health interventions including smoking ban in public places and improvements in treatments within the National Health Service (NHS). There has also been a gradual reduction in patients being treated by their GP for coronary heart disease. Mortality from heart failure has declined by 40% in the last 5 y. The number of deaths resulting from all heart conditions has steadily declined in the last 5 y, down from ~10,000 in 2010 to ~9000 in 2015. 

Innovative approaches by the Welsh NHS with the support of community cardiology and health boards now allow diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of patients in their local community. The uptake of cardiac rehabilitation by patients with heart disease has also increased considerably, with more and more individuals seeking advice on lifestyle management, diet, and exercise.

Vaughan Gething, the Health Secretary, commented: "The Welsh Government is determined to improve this further. One avoidable death is one too many – we know there’s more to do in treating and preventing heart disease.”