Hackney one of worst places in country for heart disease

Hackney is one of the worst places for heart attacks and stroke-related deaths in England, according to a university study published this week.

The shock results show that men aged 30 to 64 in Hackney Wick or Stoke Newington Central ward are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) than nearly anywhere else in the country.

Hackney Wick women in the same age group also have the worst death rate from CVD, which is the UK’s biggest killer.

The research was carried out by Imperial College London across 8,000 electoral wards between 1982 and 2006.

However, there was a clear generational divide as results for both men and women aged 65 or over were much better, with some wards in Hackney having the best results in the country.


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In Dalston, women aged 65 and over have the sixth lowest mortality rates for CVD, whereas women aged 30 to 64 have the seventh-highest rates in the country.

In Lordship, men aged 65 or over had the 11th lowest CVD mortality rates in the country, whereas men aged between 30 to 64 had the 26th highest.

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The results, which were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, found that rates of CVD mortality had decreased overall, but health inequalities between the most deprived and least deprived areas had widened across both gender and age group.

Dr Jonathon Tomlinson, a GP at the Lawson Practice, Nuttall Street, Shoreditch, said: “There are very different ethnic and economic demographics in the borough. The number one risk factor would be genetic, and what your family history is. The second would be ethnicity, which is a strong risk factor for heart disease.

“We also know heart disease is affected by poverty and inequality. If you are poor, it’s better to be poor in a place where everyone is poor rather than a place where there are marked inequalities.”

“Lastly, I would say Hackney has changed a lot in six years, so this is unlikely to be an accurate reflection of the borough now.”

Dr Perviz Asaria, one of the doctors who conducted the research, said: “What the study does is highlight the differences rather than why these areas are different.

“I would ask if it is just that people are smoking more, or are health services lacking in the area, or is it both?

“From a speculative point of view, I would say it’s most likely to be both, as services are more squeezed in deprived areas.”

“We know how to treat heart disease and we know there are things that we can do to prevent people from suffering heart attacks, so health inequalities should not exist.”

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