Drop in CVD death rate
Ireland is among the countries where the rate of death from cardiovascular disease is falling - but the reasons are still not clear, according to a new study in the European Heart Journal.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term used to refer to conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels, such as coronary heart disease and stroke.
Researchers looked at available data on the health burden of CVD and associated mortality across Europe.
It found that CVD is still the most common cause of death across Europe as a whole - accounting for 45pc of all deaths.
CVD mortality rates could be falling due to various reasons - healthier population lifestyles, earlier diagnoses, earlier and more effective treatments.
But these are only possibilities, we don't know the exact causes.
For any individual, while it's not possible to change genetic factors that may be associated with increased CVD or cancer risk, you may be able to reduce your risk of all of these chronic diseases by following healthy lifestyle recommendations such as:
* eat a balanced diet;
* take regular physical activity;
* don't smoke;
* limit your alcohol consumption.
Health & Living