The number of deaths from coronary heart disease in the Larne area has decreased over a three-year period, says NI Chest Heart and Stroke.
According to the organisation’s recently-published constituency profile for East Antrim, between 2011 and 2014 the death rate from heart disease dropped by 15 per cent, while the number of people living with a heart condition on the coronary heart disease register decreased to 1,292.
Between 2008 and 2012, the average annual death rate for circulatory illnesses within the East Antrim constituency was 321 per 100,000 people.
Public Health Director for Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke Fidelma Carter said: “As a charity, our vision is a Northern Ireland free of chest heart and stroke illnesses.
“Despite the death rate decreasing, we still want to ensure everyone is aware of the symptoms of a heart attack, as time is of the essence to give the person the best chance of survival possible.
“There are 12 heart attacks in Northern Ireland every day with three people sadly dying.
“There are some factors that you can’t control which mean you have a higher risk of heart disease – your age and whether you have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
“However, there are also some things over which you have more control - whether or not you smoke, your weight, the amount of physical activity you do, your diet, how much alcohol you drink, stress and how much sleep you get.”
Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke is warning that fast action is crucial and has launched its STOP campaign in an effort to make people aware of the symptoms of a heart attack and how to save lives.
STOP is an acronym for:
S - Something’s not right, symptoms can start slowly;
T - Tightness or pain in the chest, pain in the arm, neck or jaw;
O - Other symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea or sweating and
P - Phone 999 immediately – the ambulance crew will do an ECG.
For more information on heart disease and how to prevent it, visit the charity’s website at www.nichs.org.uk/heart.