HEART DEATHS UP 10%; Alarm as illness trend reversed.
KILLER heart attacks rocketed in the first three months of the year, it was revealed yesterday.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office showed a 10 per cent increase in deaths from cardiac disease at the beginning of 2007.
Almost 3,000 people died from illness related to heart disease between January and March this year.
In the same period last year 2,665 people died.
The Irish Heart Foundation said they were very concerned as these figures reverse a trend of 20 years when the number of people dying from such illnesses was in decline.
The number of cardiac related deaths fell from 54 to 36 per cent between 1984 and 2005.
The national charity which fights heart disease and stroke warned that obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure could be adding to the increase.
IHF chief Michael O'Shea said: "The latest figures are alarming but the hard truth is that more people die from this disease than any other illness.
"It kills more people than cancer, suicide and road accidents combined.
"To be effective in the fight against this killer, society must take responsibility.
"Obesity and smoking, two of the biggest factors are preventable and not enough Irish people are taking adequate exercise.
"We also warn people to take it easy this Christmas. Enjoy yourself but don't overeat or overdrink."