MORE than 150 people die in Eastbourne every year because of coronary heart disease.
Statistics released recently by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have showed that in recent years an average of 160 people every 12 months are killed by the illness, which if untreated leads to the clogging of vital arteries which in turn restricts the flow of blood to the heart.
Of the 160 deaths revealed in the new report, the split between men and women is fairly even – with four more men dying each year than women (82 compared to 78).
The total for Eastbourne was considerably less than for neighbouring Wealden, which fell foul of 197 deaths of the county-wide figure of 2.283.
However, compared to similar sized towns, Eastbourne did not fair particularly well.
Nearby Hastings, which is beset with health and deprivation problems, recorded fewer overall deaths (148) and Lewes saw 130 while over in West Sussex Crawley suffered just 108.
Predictably, Brighton and Hove came out top, with an average of 296 deaths – due in no small part to its far larger population.
The BHF is keen to draw attention to the statistics, and therefore the dangers of coronary heart disease, because February is National Heart Month.
In order to help support the fight against heart disease, the charity wants people here in Eastbourne to wear red on Friday February 24 to help raise vital funds.
Local volunteer manager Kim Brophy said, “The figures published give a snapshot of the state of the nation’s heart health.
“Cardiovascular disease can affect anyone, young and old, perhaps a baby born with a hole in the heart or a friend or colleague who suffers a heart attack.
“There’s never been a better time to give a bit more thought to your own heart health – and that of the people you love.
“We need to raise vital funds in Sussex to help care for people with heart disease, to support their families, to campaign on their behalf and to fund pioneering research to save lives.”
For more information on heart disease visit www.bhf.org.uk/red.