British death rates at record low 'due to rise in statins use'
This is sheer unsubstantiated propaganda. Lifespans were steadily increasing long before statin use
Death rates in Britain have fallen to record lows, official figures have shown, amid claims the introduction of cholesterol-lowering statins is largely responsible for the fall.
Last year the number of people who died in England and Wales fell by 3.5 per cent to almost 492,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found.
The latest figures showed that over the past five years deaths resulting from heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases had fallen by a third.
The ONS said the “age-standardised mortality rates” had not been so low since 1952 when the population was smaller and relatively healthy. The infant mortality rate in 2009 was also at its lowest point, it found.
Experts said the introduction of statins, which combat cardiovascular diseases, had contributed to the dramatic fall in deaths.
The drugs are taken by millions of Britons to lower their cholesterol in order to cut their risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It is estimated that about five million people in Britain are on statins, which are credited with saving 7,000 lives a year.
They also said that it was also in part to the NHS’ determination to become a world leader in heart treatment. "We should be celebrating the wonderful news that the number of people dying from coronary heart disease is continuing to fall,” said Prof Peter Weissberg, the British Heart Foundation medical director.
"The decline is due to a whole host of reasons including a better public understanding of heart disease risk factors, important government policies aimed at improving lifestyles and more effective treatments.
According to the ONS, there were 6,573 deaths per million population for males and 4,628 deaths per million for females. Over the whole year 491,348 people died in England and Wales compared to 509,090 the previous year. Over the past 10 years the highest death rate among males was for circulatory diseases despite a fall of 42 per cent in the rate, to 2,078 deaths per million. The female death rate for circulatory disease also fell over the same period by 40 per cent to 1,312 deaths per million.
But the fall in age-standardised mortality rates for cancer was more gradual, with death rates 15 per cent lower for males and 13 per cent lower for females in 2009 than a decade earlier.
The leading cause of death for both sexes was ischaemic heart diseases, which accounted for about one in six male deaths and one in eight female deaths last year.
Lung cancer was the second leading cause of death for males, accounting for more than seven per cent of male deaths.
More than one in 10 females died from a stroke, which was the second highest cause of deaths.
"Since more people are surviving their heart attacks and living longer, the burden of heart disease is actually rising,” Prof Weissberg said. "We can't afford to take our eye of the ball because heart disease is still the UK's biggest killer. "We have a long road and a lot of hard work still ahead of us."
The Baltimore City Health Department issued its first environmental citation for repeat violations of the city's trans fat ban. The Health Department issued Healthy Choice, a food facility in the 400 block of Lexington Street, a $100 fine on Thursday. "It was the second time they were found with a high trans fat level in their ingredients," said Health Department agent Juan Gutierrez.
Officials said that during inspections in July and this month, the facility was found to be using a margarine product with trans fat levels in excess of what the law allows.
The law banning food facilities from serving or selling non-prepackaged food items containing 0.5 grams or more of trans fats went into effect in September 2009.
"They originally had a margarine that was above 3 grams, actually, which is very high compared to the .5 that is allowed. Then when we came back and they had replaced it, they replaced it with one that was 2 grams, so it still was too high," Gutierrez said. The facility discarded the products in both instances, health officials said.
"I think they're doing it right. They're doing what they have to do," Healthy Choice owner Ki Jeong said. Jeong said he will abide by the decision but said the new margarine will cost him double what the original type costs.
Trans fats are artificial fats that are known to elevate bad cholesterol and cause heart disease, according to health officials. Studies have indicated that trans fats are responsible for as many as 30,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year.
The city said it has worked with bakeries to come up with alternatives to using trans fats.
"While we are pleased with the high rates of compliance we've seen since the ban took effect, we will continue to sanction businesses that repeatedly fail to comply," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
The Health Department said more than 100 Baltimore restaurants have received warnings since the ban went into effect. Agents said that if restaurants don't make changes after a citation is issue, the establishment could be shut down.