Nearly 150 people die in Hastings every year because of coronary heart disease.
Statistics released by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) this week showed that in recent years an average of 148 people every 12 months are killed by the illness, which if untreated leads to the clogging of vital arteries which in turn restricts the flow of blood to the heart.
Without an adequate blood supply, the heart becomes starved of oxygen. This can cause chest pain called angina and, if the blood supply is cut off entirely a heart attack is the likely outcome.
Of the 148 deaths revealed in the new report, men are far more likely to die from the disease than women (93 compared to 55 per year).
The total for Hastings was considerably less than for neighbouring Wealden, which recorded 197 deaths out of the county-wide figure of 2,283.
Figures for Eastbourne were slightly higher than Hastings at 160, while Rother stands at 174.
Predictably, Brighton and Hove came out top, with an average of 296 deaths – due in no small part to its far larger population.
The BHF is keen to draw attention to the statistics, and therefore the dangers of coronary heart disease, because February is National Heart Month.
In order to support the fight against heart disease, the charity wants people here to wear red on Friday February 24 to help raise vital funds.
Local volunteer manager Kim Brophy said, “The figures published give a snapshot of the state of the nation’s heart health.
“Cardiovascular disease can affect anyone, young and old, perhaps a baby born with a hole in the heart or a friend or colleague who suffers a heart attack.
“Whether you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol we are working to ensure these conditions can one day be eliminated.
“There’s never been a better time to give a bit more thought to your own heart health – and that of the people you love.
“We need to raise vital funds in Sussex to help care for people with heart disease, to support their families, to campaign on their behalf and to fund pioneering research to save lives.”
For more information on heart disease, or to organise your own fundraising event, visit the charity’s website www.bhf.org.uk/red.