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News > Charity Calls for Action as Scottish Heart Disease Death Rates Increase

Charity Calls for Action as Scottish Heart Disease Death Rates Increase

  • Latest statistics from Public Health Scotland reveal heart disease death rates have increased over the last four years
  • Stats indicate a reversal in the decline of heart deaths over the last decade highlighting an increased need for focus on heart disease prevention
  • Stroke deaths remain stable but with significant differences in death rates in areas of high deprivation versus low deprivation

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is calling for an increased focus on heart disease prevention after figures released today (Tuesday 23rd January) show an increase in deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD) over the last four years.

Although CHD death rates have reduced by 14% in the last decade, the increase over the last four years indicates a worrying reversal of this trend.

Chief Executive of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland Jane-Claire Judson commented: “Heart disease remains Scotland’s biggest killer. Despite progress in reducing death rates over the last decade, the figures released today indicate progress in tackling heart disease has stalled.

“The Scottish Government’s Heart Disease Action Plan highlights a focus on prevention as its key priority in addressing heart disease rates in Scotland. Yet we’re now seeing heart disease deaths go up – we need to see the government do much more to support people to live healthy lifestyles.”

The PHS stats also revealed that in 2022/23, 93% of people survived 30 days or more following their first heart attack, which is largely unchanged over the past decade.

The incidence rate for cerebrovascular disease, including stroke, decreased over the last decade by 6%.  However, the death rate for cerebrovascular disease in the most deprived areas was 47% higher than in the least deprived areas in 2022, which is consistent with the previous five years.

Chief Executive of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland Jane-Claire Judson said more needs to be done to support people to live healthy lifestyles.

Ms Judson continued: “Each year, thousands of people are leaving hospital following a stroke or heart attack feeling scared and alone. CHSS supports them to recover in their community and improve their overall health.

“Our Health Defence team works in some of Scotland’s poorest communities providing health checks, information and access to gentle exercise to improve health outcomes. The Scottish Government needs to prioritise funding for community support services like this, particularly in areas of high deprivation.

“There is a huge opportunity for the forthcoming National Care Service to integrate with support services provided by charities such as CHSS to help people stay healthy and out of hospital.

“Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is committed to working in partnership with NHS health boards and the Scottish Government to support people to manage their conditions and live full lives.”

CHSS recently committed to supporting an additional 175000 people across Scotland living with chest, heart and stroke conditions and Long Covid over the next five years through its Community Healthcare Support Services model.

If you’re living with the effects of heart disease and stroke and looking for advice and information, please contact Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0899. You can also text NURSE to 66777 or email  

People are leaving hospital feeling scared and alone. You can change that.

Your donation can help people do more than just survive – you can help them really live.


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