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Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Please click on image to access IPH’s Coronary Heart Disease briefing that was published in June 2012

What is coronary heart disease (CHD)?

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a collective term for diseases that occur when the walls of the coronary arteries become narrowed by a gradual build up of fatty material called atheroma.

IPH has systematically estimated and forecast the prevalence of heart attack and/or angina (which we refer to as CHD) on the island of Ireland.



Age, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking are the main risk factors for CHD. Overall CHD mortality rates in Ireland have halved in the last number of decades despite additional deaths due to adverse trends in obesity, diabetes and physical inactivity during this period.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Burden of Disease study provides estimates of premature mortality and time lived in ill health due to ischaemic heart disease including CHD. Ischaemic heart disease (ICD 10 codes I20-I25) is estimated to be responsible for 13.1% of premature mortality and 1.9% of years lived with disability in Europe. WHO estimates that ischaemic heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide

In the Republic of Ireland in 2008, ischaemic heart disease was responsible for 18.3% of all deaths. In Northern Ireland in 2010, ischaemic heart disease was responsible for 15.5% of all deaths.



In the Republic of Ireland, Changing Cardiovascular Health: National Cardiovascular Health Strategy 2010–2019  addresses the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. The strategy places an increased emphasis on primary preventative measures detailing individual and population level measures to reduce heart disease incidence and mortality. The strategy recommends the development and implementation of a multidisciplinary team approach to ensure effective management for patients with heart disease.

In Northern Ireland, the Service Framework for Cardiovascular Health and Wellbeing  details 45 standards for good practice relating to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular conditions including CHD. The key objectives of the framework are to improve population health, reduce inequalities and improve the quality of and access to cardiovascular health services in Northern Ireland.


IPH CHD estimates and forecasts

IPH has estimated and forecast clinical diagnosis rates of CHD (heart attack and/or angina) among adults for the years 2010, 2015 and 2020.

In the Republic of Ireland, the data are based on the Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition (SLÁN) 2007 . The data describe the number of people who report that they have experienced doctor-diagnosed heart attack and/or angina in the previous 12 months (annual clinical diagnosis). Data is available by age and sex for each Local Health Office of the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the Republic of Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, the data are based on the Health and Social Wellbeing Survey 2005/06 . The data describe the number of people who report that they have experienced doctor-diagnosed heart attack and/or angina at any time in the past (lifetime clinical diagnosis). Data are available by age and sex for each Local Government District in Northern Ireland.

Clinical diagnosis rates in the Republic of Ireland relate to the previous 12 months and are not directly comparable with clinical diagnosis rates in Northern Ireland which relate to anytime in the past.

Click here for details of the methods  used to calculate the estimates and forecasts

Use the Health Well's Data Visualiser to explore or download the data (last updated June 2012)

View the CHD theme on the Health Well's Community Profiles.


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