Heart Disease – Ireland’s No.1 Killer

Heart disease (cardiovascular disease) remains the most common cause of death in Ireland.

It is currently the cause of one-third of all deaths and one in five premature deaths. Approximately 10,000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease – including coronary heart disease, stroke and other circulatory diseases.

At the Irish Heart Foundation, we are fighting to deliver services that will contribute to a 25% reduction in premature deaths from cardiovascular disease by 2025. To do this, we are emphasising action on stroke, obesity, tobacco control, cardiovascular disease prevention and heart failure as our policy priorities.


Heart Failure in Ireland is set to dramatically increase


90,000 people and 20,000 hospital admissions 

Swollen ankles, breathlessness and extreme tiredness are key symptoms of heart failure, a chronic condition affecting 90,000 people living in Ireland and responsible for 20,000 hospital admissions each year.


Prompt assistance would help people live longer

Because so few people understand how common and life-threatening the condition is, they are not seeking the prompt medical assistance that can save their lives. However, with suitable treatment patients can live an active and comfortable life, preventing the heart function getting worse and helping them live longer.


We need to talk about Heart Failure more

In Ireland, heart failure is among the least talked about, the least understood and the least prominent of chronic diseases.


What can we do? Focus on community care.

The recommendations for heart failure within the Cardiovascular Disease Policy (2010) are underlined by a desire to shift the centre of heart failure care from the hospital to the community setting. The policy proposes the development of an integrated community-based approach to heart failure management, led by primary care teams.

These recommendations are supported by the Irish Heart Foundation Council on Heart Failure.

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

By 2020 people with Cardiovascular Disease is set to increase by 40%, view our advice on prevention and why it is at the core of our policy. Download the National Cardiovascular Health Policy (2010 – 2019) – Changing Cardiovascular Health


Join us to help end premature deaths from heart and stroke disease

Speak to our National Heart & Stroke Helpline Nurses

Need to talk? Freephone 1800 25 25 50 Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Thurs till 7pm

Chat to us online