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CHD burden shifts to coast

GPs living in sleepy seaside towns face the highest burden of heart disease in future years, according to new forecasts.

Research by University of Portsmouth statisticians and market researcher TNS suggests a shift away from the north-south divide in disease rates.

South and East Dorset PCT is set to become the worst blackspot in the country for heart disease. In 10 years' time, 13 per cent of its residents are predicted to have a 15 per cent or higher 10-year risk of CHD.

North Norfolk and Bexhill and Rother are next on the list, with East Lincolnshire the only northern trust in the top five (see box). In contrast, affluent areas of London such as Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham will have rates around 6 per cent.

Study researcher Professor Graham Moon, professor of health services research at the University of Portsmouth, said: 'Factors such as deprivation, poor diet, lack of exercise and migration of the elderly to these areas leads our research to suggest this.'

Highs and lows

PCT Population at risk Highest risk (%)

  • South and East Dorset 13.6
  • North Norfolk 13.2
  • Bexhill and Rother 13.0
  • East Devon 12.8
  • East Lincolnshire 12.7
  • Lowest risk
  • Wandsworth 5.8
  • Hammersmith/Fulham 6.0
  • Westminster 6.2
  • Kensington/Chelsea 6.4
  • Haringey 6.5

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