Patterns of heart disease

For the British Heart Foundation, we write reports showing who has the largest burden of heart disease in the UK, and where this burden lies. We use existing national datasets to produce graphs and tables. We have also written a research paper describing the burden of heart disease in the United Kingdom.

The maps below show how deaths from cardiovascular disease (a medical term for all heart disease – shortened to CVD) are higher in some parts of the country compared to others (darker red means a higher rate).

All ages CVD_total

Patterns of heart disease across UK Local Authorities

This map shows death rates that account for the differences in age groups between local authorities. This is known as age-standardising death rates and means that older populations are not the cause of these differences.

For more maps and the rest of our data on heart disease in the UK, visit the BHF website.

For me, what is most striking about this map is how death rates from heart disease are clearly higher in the north of England, in Wales, Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland.

The map below (not one of ours) shows the pattern of deprivation in England. Just from glancing from one to the other, we can see there seems to be some correlation between higher rates of death from heart disease and higher levels of deprivation.


Source: DCLG, English Indices of Deprivation (2015)/NLP analysis.


In my research I aim to understand why these differences exist and what can be done about them. Knowing these things will allow us to make changes that will lead to improved health.


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