DEATH rates from heart disease and stroke have plummeted across Dorset over the last few years, figures released by the Department of Health have revealed.

But people living in the most deprived areas of Bournemouth and Poole are still more than twice as likely to have an emergency hospital admission for coronary heart disease as those in the least deprived. Online data about cardiovascular disease – the main cause of death in the UK – has been compiled for every primary care trust area in England.

The figures allow different areas of the country to be compared as part of the drive to target NHS resources better and improve standards.

Death rates in people under 75 from cardiovascular disease in Bournemouth and Poole have fallen by 48 per cent since 1995-7, and in Dorset by 53.3 per cent, with both areas recording “significantly lower” rates than the national average.

The difference in CVD death rate between the most and least deprived areas of Bournemouth and Poole shrank by 36.3 per cent between 2001 and 2009, but in Dorset, it widened by 9.7 per cent.

Both PCTs spent less on prescribing statins (drugs used to lower cholesterol) to people with coronary heart disease than the national picture.

Bournemouth and Poole was “significantly worse” than the English average for discharging stroke patients under the age of 75 back home.

The health profiles also reveal that more than a quarter of Bournemouth and Poole’s adult population is obese, higher than the national and regional average. Smoking rates are also higher than the south-west average.

Dr Max Kammerling of the South East Public Health Observatory, which compiled the figures, called the overall national picture “very positive”.

But he added: “A closer look at the data uncovers hotspots which show higher mortality rates among people who live in deprived areas.”

l To see the profiles, go to