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29 July 2014, 14:47
A new report published today by the Welsh Government shows that the number of people living with coronary heart disease is falling in Wales.
Heart disease however is still claiming the lives of more than 4,300 people a year which is 14% of all deaths in Wales.
A new report ("Together for Health - the Heart Disease Delivery Plan) on cardiac services in Wales sets out the progress the NHS has made in delivering the Welsh Government's plans to tackle heart disease including reduced waiting times and quicker diagnosis for patients.
It also identifies what more health boards and NHS trusts need to do to improve care for patients and help to prevent more people developing the life-long disease.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford made a commitment to give a yearly update on progress when Together for Health - A Heart Disease Delivery Plan was published in May 2013.
Key findings show that there was a 6% reduction last year in the number of people living with heart disease. Along with the number of emergency admissions for cardiovascular disease which fell by more the 2,500 in the last four years.
Professor Drakeford said:
"Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff and preventative measures now in place, we have made significant progress in reducing the burden of heart disease over the past few years.
This report shows a drop in both the number of people living with heart disease and dying from it. Admissions to hospital have also fallen as a result of better care in community settings.
However, we must continue to tackle heart disease which remains a major cause of death in Wales.
We will continue to invest in services, improve early diagnosis and prevent the causes of the disease, including cutting smoking levels and encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles."
The report also shows that hospitals in Wales have spent more than £442m in 2011 to 2012 on circulatory disease, which is more the 8% of all NHS expenditure in Wales.