Cookstown has highest heart attack death rate in Northern Ireland

MORE people die from heart disease in Cookstown than anywhere else in Northern Ireland.

The shocking figures show that in a four year period an average of 327 people per 100,000 have died from circulatory disease within Cookstown District Council area.

The figure is even higher than that of Belfast and Derry, where an average of 298 and 308 people have died respectively in the same period.

The statistics, compiled by the Department of Health, also reveal that men have a higher chance of having a fatal heart attack than women. The age standardised death rate per 100,000 of the population shows that 338 males died of heart disease whilst 292 women living within Cookstown passed away. The figures also reveal that 85 out of the 327 average number of deaths within the council area recorded were under the age of 75. Cookstown figures for circulatory deaths surpass the Northern Ireland average, which stands at 252. Deaths within Magherafelt District are slightly lower. Within the same time frame an average of 285 deaths were recorded as stemming from circulatory disease. The age standardised death rate per 100,000 of the population shows that 261 males passed away within Magherafelt whilst 285 female deaths were recorded. 74 out of the 285 average were under the age of 75.

The data is based upon the number of deaths provided by the General Register Office and 2005 - 2009 Mid-Year Population Estimates /Small Area Population Estimates provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Ulster Unionist councillor for Cookstown, Robert Kelly, who has close family member who suffers from heart problems, said that the figures raised the urgent need for better hospital provision within the Coosktown area.

Councillor Kelly said: “These figures show the urgent need for better hospital provision and facilities within the Mid-Ulster area, particularly Cookstown.

“The main obstacle we face is the travelling distance to hospitals. Cookstown is stuck right in the middle of Antrim and Craigavon, and if someone is to suffer from a serious enough heart attack that extra distance can certainly be a life or death matter.”