Decline in deaths from heart disease and stroke in 2020

By June Shannon Heart News   |   10th Jun 2021

Heart disease and stroke still one of the leading causes of death in 2020

A total of 8,744 lives were lost to heart disease and stroke last year, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The recently published CSO Vital Statistics 2020 yearly summary revealed that of the 8,744 people died who died  from cardiovascular disease in 2020– 4,612 were  men and 4,132 were women.

Of the 8,744 deaths from heart disease and stroke last year, 4,142 lives were lost to ischaemic heart disease also known as coronary heart disease, and 1,524 to cerebrovascular disease or stroke, while 1,581 people died from “other heart diseases”. The CSO data also showed that 1,497 people died from “other diseases of the circulatory system” in 2020.

This is a slight overall reduction from the 2019 figures which showed that 8,989 people died from heart disease and stroke that year and of these 4,163 were due to ischaemic heart disease and 1,627 to cerebrovascular disease or stroke.

Ischaemic or coronary heart disease occurs when the coronary arteries become narrowed due to a build up of fatty material and this restricts the flow of oxygen rich blood to the heart.

A total of 1,641 people died as a result of a heart attack last year and of these, 999 were men, and 642 were women.

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A total of 1,641 people died as a result of a heart attack last year and of these, 999 were men, and 642 were women.

According to the CSO statistics, of the 4,612 men who died from cardiovascular disease in 2020, 2,582 lost their lives to ischaemic heart disease while 698 men died from “other heart diseases”.

A total of 685 men lost their lives to cerebrovascular disease or stroke in 2020 and 647 men died from “other diseases of the circulatory system”.

Of the 4,132 women who died in 2020 from cardiovascular disease, 1,560 lost their lives to ischaemic heart disease and 883 women died from “other heart diseases.”

A total of 839 women lost their lives to cerebrovascular disease or stroke in 2020 while 850 women died from “other diseases of the circulatory system.”

The Irish Heart Foundation has welcomed the reduction in the numbers of people who died from heart disease and stroke in 2020

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The CSO data also found that the leading single cause of death in 2020 varied widely by age group.

According to the CSO, “among those aged from 15 to 34 years, external causes of death including accidents, suicide and other ranked first (205 deaths). Among individuals aged 35-74, cancers were the leading single cause group while for those aged 75 and older, it was diseases of the circulatory system.”

The Irish Heart Foundation has welcomed the reduction in the numbers of people who died from heart disease and stroke in 2020 compared to 2019. However, the fact remains that cardiovascular disease is still one of the leading causes of death in Ireland and the leading cause of death worldwide.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Heart disease has remained the leading cause of death at the global level for the last 20 years. However, it is now killing more people than ever before. The number of deaths from heart disease increased by more than 2 million since 2000, to nearly 9 million in 2019. Heart disease now represents 16% of total deaths from all causes. More than half of the 2 million additional deaths were in the WHO Western Pacific region. Conversely, the European region has seen a relative decline in heart disease, with deaths falling by 15 per cent.”

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cardiovascular disease CSO heart disease ischaemic heart disease stroke

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