Among the 4 527 500 deaths reported in the European Union (EU) in 2016, 542 700 were due to coronary diseases, including heart attacks. Nearly 90% of these deaths affected people aged over 65 (475 600 deaths, 88% of the EU total).
In order to compare between countries, the absolute numbers of deaths across Member States need to be adjusted to the size and structure of the population.
At EU level, the standardised rate of deaths from coronary heart diseases stood at 1 194 deaths per million inhabitants in 2016. This was a decrease of 17% from 1 445 deaths per million inhabitants in 2011. Men died from coronary heart diseases more frequently than women, with 1 625 deaths per million men compared to 881 deaths per million women.
Death rate from coronary heart diseases highest in Lithuania, lowest in France
With 5 362 deaths from heart attacks per million inhabitants, Lithuania registered the highest rate among the EU Member States in 2017. There were high rates also in Hungary (3 812) and Slovakia (3 753).
At regional level (NUTS 2), the ‘Central and Western’ region in Lithuania registered the highest rate of deaths from heart attacks with 5 706 deaths per million inhabitants, followed by the Hungarian region ‘North Hungary’ (4 597) and the Romanian region ‘North-West’ (4 393).
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest rates were recorded in France (466 per million inhabitants; 2016 data), the Netherlands (550) and Spain (637).
Among the EU regions, the death rate was the lowest in the French overseas regions ‘Guadeloupe’ (213 deaths per million inhabitants; 2016 data), ‘Mayotte’ (245; 2016 data), ‘French Guiana’ (248; 2016 data) and ‘Martinique’ (305; 2016 data). Overall, 14 French regions registered the lowest death rates due to coronary heart diseases (from 213 to 472). The region with the 15th lowest rate was the Spanish region ‘Cantabria’ (479), followed by another French region ‘Centre-Val de Loire’ (481; 2016 data), the Spanish region ‘Basque Country’ (487) and the Dutch region ‘Zeeland’ (491).
Source dataset: hlth_cd_asdr2
In every EU Member State, the standardised rate of deaths caused by coronary heart diseases was higher for men than for women. Among the EU Member States, Latvia recorded the highest gender gap, with 2 626 more male than female deaths per million inhabitants from heart attacks. Latvia was followed by Lithuania (gap of 2 573 deaths per million inhabitants) and Hungary (gap of 1 631).
For more information, take a look at the Statistics Explained article on Causes of death statistics.
This news item marks World Heart Day (29 September).
- Regional data for Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Iceland and Liechtenstein: single regions at this level of detail.
- Regional data available for 2016: all French regions.
- This list shows translations of the names of regions in the EU Member States into English.
- The European Union (EU) includes 27 EU Member States. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Further information is published here.
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