The chances of dying from heart or lung disease in the UK are much higher than in most developed countries, new research has found.
The report, by researchers at the University of Cambridge and the UK’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), found the rate of death among people aged 65 years and over is four times higher than that of those in the US.
“The odds of dying in the USA are three times higher per year than in the rest of the world,” said Dr Paul F. Dann, senior author of the study and a professor in the Department of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
“It’s a big difference.
The odds of a person dying from a heart attack or stroke in the U.S. are about 1 in 6.5 million, whereas in the United Kingdom the odds are about one in 13 million.”
What causes heart disease?
Researchers know that a high-fat diet can raise your risk of heart disease, which is why some people are advised to eat fewer calories.
However, it has been unclear what factors might be responsible for the difference in the risk of dying because the data doesn’t have enough detail.
“There is no single factor that’s the reason, but we know that obesity is associated with a higher risk of death in the population,” said Dann.
“That may not mean that if you eat more fat, that’s a cause of death, but it is associated, and so we’re trying to find out what it is.”
The researchers also looked at other factors such as the type of heart surgery you have and the age of your surgeon, as well as your lifestyle, smoking and other lifestyle factors.
The findings were published online by the journal Public Library of Science ONE.
What are some ways you can lower your risk?
“There are many ways to lower your chances of death,” Dann said.
“One of them is to have a low-fat or low-sugar diet and exercise more.
Exercise is linked to a lower risk of disease and the exercise we do is also linked to lower risk.
We have evidence that the risk reduction is higher in those with the highest levels of physical activity.”
People with a low BMI, overweight or obesity have an increased risk of premature death from heart attack and stroke.
People who are not overweight or obese have a higher chance of dying of heart attack.
Obesity is also associated with an increased rate of diabetes.
“People who have high levels of inflammation in their blood may have a lower death risk than those with less inflammation,” Denn said.
People with certain genetic mutations in the genes for certain blood types also have a reduced risk of developing heart disease.
Some people with certain forms of cancer may also have reduced risk.
Denn and his colleagues found that people with diabetes had a higher mortality rate than those without diabetes.
People in the NHS and the private sector have access to diabetes treatment services and there are more than 10,000 people in the workforce with diabetes.
It’s estimated that 1 in 3 people will develop heart disease or stroke during their lifetime, and that the rate is more than five times higher in women.
“In the private healthcare sector, there is a great deal of evidence that diabetes is a major risk factor for death in older age groups,” Denny O’Malley, a research fellow at the Nuffield Trust who was not involved in the study, said.
The study has several limitations. “
If we can improve access to healthcare and get people better treated, we can reduce the risk.”
The study has several limitations.
For instance, there are some differences in the rates of death for different types of heart and lung diseases between countries, so there may be some differences between UK and US patients.
“These differences may be attributable to different ways in which we define the death,” said O’Mara.
“For example, if you’re talking about the rate for heart attack, it may be different in the Netherlands, where people have much more aggressive treatments and they don’t have as much mortality risk.”
Other factors that could explain the difference include the type and number of drugs prescribed, and whether or not people have insurance.
“We are working with the drug companies to find a way of better understanding these differences, but until we can do that we don’t know the answer,” said Fergal Murphy, a senior researcher in the department of cardiology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Follow Becky on Twitter: @bobkennedybbc, on Facebook: facebook.com/bcbecky, or”
But if we want to reduce the number of people dying from cardiovascular disease, we have to find ways of reducing the incidence of disease, and we’re working hard to do that.”
Follow Becky on Twitter: @bobkennedybbc, on Facebook: facebook.com/bcbecky, or