The extent of heart disease in Scotland could be more severe than initially thought, according to new figures from Heart Research UK.
The charity’s recent research shows that nealry three quarters of Scots have been personally affected, or had someone they know affected by heart disease.
The YouGov study produced for the charity’s Heart of Scotland Appeal asked 1,000 Scots a number of questions relating to lifestyle choices and personal experiences of cardiovascular disease.
The findings show that despite cardiovacular disease (CVD) being Scotland’s biggest killer, with 41 people dying from it every day, 50% of Scots are not concerned.
The Heart of Scotland Appeal is a new campaign from national charity Heart Research UK to draw attention to the severity of cardiovascular disease in Scotland.
Current statistics show that you are almost twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease in Scotland than in the South East of England.
The money raised will be spent in Scotland to fund research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.
Barbara Harpham, Chief Executive of Heart Research UK, said: “With the prevalence of cardiovascular disease so much higher in Scotland compared to the rest of UK, it’s vital more people are aware of their risk and how they can reduce it.
“It is worrying to see that, despite the number of people with loved ones being affected by cardiovascular disease, so many people are not concerned about it.
“We are urging all Scots to take cardiovascular disease seriously and support the Heart of Scotland appeal so we can all keep our loved ones around for longer.”
Professor Nawwar Al-Attar, Consultant Cardiac and Transplant Surgeon, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank and Spokesperson for Heart Research UK, said: “Historically, Scotland has had a high incidence of cardiovascular disease compared to the rest of the UK.
“Although great improvements have been made in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease over the last decade, coronary heart disease is still Scotland’s biggest killer. With an aging population and rising levels of obesity and diabetes, this progress could be reversed which is why we need to act now.
“We can all reduce our risk of developing heart disease by leading a healthy lifestyle which means eating healthily, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking.
“The Heart of Scotland appeal is a very welcome initiative to support more research at Scottish universities and address the problem of heart disease in Scotland.”
The Heart of Scotland Appeal features a striking t-shirt and four coloured badges designed by acclaimed Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane, each with their own unique message: Live, Life, Brave, Care. These can be bought at heartofscotland.org.uk.
The appeal has been publicly supported by a host of Scottish stars, including Brian Cox CBE, David Moyes, KT Tunstall, Rory Bremner, Amy Macdonald, Val McDermid, Jane McCarry and Iain Glen.
Big names from Scottish politics have also supported the appeal, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt Hon David Mundell pledging their support.