Older people in Northern Ireland are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than those in the Republic of Ireland. They are also far more likely to have a limiting long-term illness and disability, according to a study funded by CARDI launched today (Thursday 26 March 2015) in Belfast. The study was led by researchers from the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast.
Key findings for over 50s
- Prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in NI is 12.4% compared to 8.6% in ROI.
- Prevalence of limiting long-term illness in NI is 43.4% compared to 24.2% in ROI (almost 80% higher).
- More than twice as many people in NI have both CHD and limiting long-term illness (8.8%) as in ROI (4.1%).
- Three times more people in NI have both CHD and limitations in activities of daily living (4.4%) as in ROI (1.5%).
- Men are more likely than women to have CHD-related disability (4.4% v 3.7% in ROI and 10% v 8.1% in NI).
- People in low SEP are more likely to have CHD-related disability than those in high positions (5.0% v 2.9% in ROI and 11.1% v 7.6% in NI).
- CHD-related disability becomes more prevalent with age e.g. among those aged 50-59 the rates are 1.6% in ROI and 4.0% in NI; among those aged 80+ the rates are 8.3% in ROI and 15.2% in NI.
- Rates of obesity and smoking are higher in ROI than NI; rates of physical inactivity, diabetes and severe depression are higher in NI.
The study examined the rates and impacts of heart disease among people over 50 by analysing existing datasets-The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA, 2011) and Northern Ireland Health Survey (NIHS, 2011)
The research team consisted of Dr Sharon Cruise, Queen’s University Belfast; Mr John Hughes, Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency; Dr Kathleen Bennett, St James’s Hospital, Dublin; Dr Anne Kouvonen, Queen’s University Belfast and University of Helsinki; and Professor Frank Kee, Queen’s University Belfast.
Full report and brief
The full report is entitled ‘Understanding disability in older heart disease patients in Ireland’. The research was CARDI under its 2013 data-mining funding programme. CARDI has prepared a research brief ‘Disability in older heart disease patients’ which summarises the main report and spells out some of the implications for policy and practice.
Read the full report here
Read the CARDI brief here