Almost three quarters of people in Scotland have been personally affected or had someone they know affected by heart disease.

This is according to new research by a national charity Heart Research UK looking into the severity of heart disease in the country.

A survey conducted by market research company YouGov on behalf of the charity asked 1,000 Scots questions relating to lifestyle choices and experiences of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

It revealed 50% of people in the country are not concerned about the heart condition despite it being Scotland’s biggest killer – with 41 people dying from it every day.

Professor Nawwar Al-Attar, consultant cardiac and transplant surgeon at Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank and spokesperson for Heart Research UK said: “Historically, Scotland has had a high incidence of cardiovascular disease compared to the rest of the UK.

“Although great improvements have been made in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease over the last decade, coronary heart disease is still Scotland’s biggest killer.

“With an aging population and rising levels of obesity and diabetes, this progress could be reversed which is why we need to act now.

“We can all reduce our risk of developing heart disease by leading a healthy lifestyle which means eating healthily, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking.

“The Heart of Scotland appeal is a very welcome initiative to support more research at Scottish universities and address the problem of heart disease in Scotland.”


How affected Scotland is by the heart disease

The Heart of Scotland Appeal campaign from national charity Heart Research UK launched earlier this year to draw attention to the severity of CVD in Scotland.

And the money raised will be spent funding pioneering research in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease at Scottish hospitals and universities.

Current statistics show that people in Scotland are almost twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease as those living in the South East of England.

Heart Research UK’s chief executive Barbara Harpham said: “With the prevalence of cardiovascular disease so much higher in Scotland compared to the rest of UK, it’s vital more people are aware of their risk and how they can reduce it.”

According to the charity, CVD causes more than a 1,250 deaths per month in Scotland, costing Scotland’s NHS £800m each year.

Moreover, the premature death rate for CVD is 60% higher in the most deprived area of Scotland (West Dunbartonshire) compared to the least (East Renfrewshire).

Ms Harpham added: “It is worrying to see that, despite the number of people with loved ones being affected by cardiovascular disease, so many people are not concerned about it.

“We are urging all Scots to take cardiovascular disease seriously and support the Heart of Scotland appeal so we can all keep our loved ones around for longer.”