About this release
This release by Public Health Scotland provides an annual update on heart disease in Scotland. The publication includes information on incidence, mortality, hospital activity, 30-day survival following first emergency admission, operations, GP prescribing and ambulance service activity.
- The rate at which new cases of coronary heart disease occur (the incidence) has fallen by 22% over the last decade.
- In 2020, there were 6,727 deaths in Scotland where coronary heart disease (CHD) was the underlying cause. However, whilst there has been a 24% reduction in the death rate from coronary heart disease over the last ten years, the rate of decline has slowed in the last five years.
- The rate for hospital discharges with heart attack has decreased by 14% in the past 10 years.
- In 2020/21, 93% of people survived 30 days or more following their first heart attack compared with 91% a decade earlier.
- The death rate for heart failure has reduced by 23% over the ten-year period.
Heart disease is a broad term for a variety of conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart. The most common type of heart disease is coronary heart disease (CHD) where the blood vessels carrying oxygen-rich blood (coronary arteries) to the heart muscle become narrowed or blocked. If insufficient blood reaches the heart muscle the result can be damage to the heart muscle which is known as a heart attack.
Heart failure is the consequence of failure of the ability of the heart muscle to pump blood efficiently. This can be caused by a heart attack but there are a number of other causes of heart failure (including disease of the heart valves, lung disease, heavy alcohol use and infections affecting the heart).
Scotland has a high prevalence of the risk factors (external website) associated with CHD, such as smoking, poor diet and physical inactivity. Despite a substantial reduction in the rate of death from coronary heart disease (CHD) over the last decade, it remains one of the leading causes of death in Scotland (Health of Scotland’s population - Mortality Rates (external website)). Overall, it is estimated that around 7% of men and 4% of women are living with CHD (Scottish Health Survey 2019 (external website)). Treating and preventing heart disease is a national clinical priority for Scotland, as outlined in the Heart Disease Improvement Plan (external website).
Public Health Scotland publishes a range of heart disease-related information. You can find all our information on the heart disease section of the Data and Intelligence website.
Corresponding information on stroke can be found on the stroke section of the same website.
The next release of this publication will be in January 2023.
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