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Heart attacks or strokes kill 1 in 5 in EU

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(LUXEMBOURG) - Heart attacks (around 644,000 deaths) and strokes (almost 433,000) - slightly more than 1 in 5 - were the cause of death for almost 1.1 million people in the European Union in 2013, according to Eurostat figures.

Since 2000 however, the share of both fatal heart attacks and fatal strokes has continuously decreased in the EU, from being responsible for 16.6% and 11.5% respectively of all deaths in 2000, to 12.9% and 8.7% in 2013.

By age group, the risk of dying from a heart attack or a stroke clearly increases with age, with heart attacks and strokes being responsible for less than 10% of all deaths among people aged below 40 in the EU, for between 10% and 20% for those aged 40 to 69 and for over 20% for the older age groups.

Lowest in France

More than a third of all deaths were due to heart attacks in Lithuania (36.7%) and more than a quarter in Latvia (28.9%), Slovakia (27.9%), the Czech Republic (25.7%) and Hungary (25.3%). In contrast, heart attacks accounted for less than 10% of all causes of death in France (6.0%), Portugal (6.5%), the Netherlands (6.6%), Belgium (7.6%), Denmark (7.9%), Spain (8.6%) and Luxembourg (9.7%). In the EU, deaths due to heart attacks represented 12.9% of all deaths.

As regards deaths from strokes, the highest proportions were registered in 2013 in Bulgaria (19.7%), Romania (18.7%) and Latvia (17.0%), followed by Croatia and Lithuania (both 14.3%) as well as Greece (13.4%). At the opposite end of the scale, France (5.7%), Denmark (6.4%), Belgium and Germany (both 6.5%), Ireland, Luxembourg and Austria (all 6.6%) as well as the Netherlands (6.7%) recorded shares below 7%. At EU level, strokes were responsible for 8.7% of all deaths in 2013.

The largest fall in the share of deaths due to heart attacks was in Estonia, while the biggest fall in the share of deaths due to strokes in was in Portugal.

Full figures, Eurostat

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