Wiganers are the most at risk of heart failure in the region, a damning health report has revealed.
Unnerving figures from research conducted by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) shows that Wiganers are at much higher risk of health conditions than the average person in the UK.
More than 3,300 people have been diagnosed with heart failure in the borough, pushing Wigan to the top of the regional tables.
These figures show that the borough tops the regional table for heart failure, with 1.03 per cent of people being diagnosed with this condition, far more than the UK average of 0.76 per cent.
Health bosses are warning that poor lifestyle choices could be leading to shorter lives for the borough’s residents.
Dr Tim Dalton, Local GP and Chair of NHS Wigan Borough CCG, said: “We have a history in the borough of high rates of heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure and other conditions that affect people’s ability to live a long, full life.
“This is in part due to our mining and manufacturing history, and in part due to poor lifestyle choices, with lots of people smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy foods.”
Among the worrying facts revealed in the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) factfile, is that more than 8,000 Wiganers are believed to be living with undetected heart murmurs.
Atrial fibrillation, a condition which causes heart murmurs, is thought to increase the chance of a stroke by four to five times and can also contribute to heart failure if left untreated.
Comparisons show that in the Wigan borough, the early mortality rate for a stroke between 2013 and 2015 was 16.8 per cent, much higher than the 13.6 per average in the England.
Wiganers were also 10 per cent more likely to die as a result of heart disease between 2013 and 2015, with an early mortality rate of 50.5 per cent, compared to 40.6 in England.
But despite the doom and gloom the report does show that Wigan CCG is amid the top in the region for diagnosing some of the more serious conditions.
In the Greater Manchester area, the CCG comes out top when it comes to diagnosing hypertension (high blood pressure).
It is also the best in the region at managing hypertension with 82 per cent of patients with blood pressure within the NHS standards. Mr Dalton added:
“As the data shows, the great work by the council’s public health team, coupled with the hard work of local GPs and practice nurses mean that we are getting better at finding, diagnosing and helping people to manage their conditions.
“However, there are areas we can do better. For example, whilst we are performing well on the indicators for Hypertension (high blood pressure), Strokes and Chronic Kidney Disease, for conditions like diabetes and heart failure, we need to do more to ensure people are getting the treatment they need.”