RATES of heart disease in Coalisland and the Clogher Valley are the highest in the Southern Board area, and amongst the highest in Northern Ireland.
According to latest health figures, a total of 5.5 percent of patients in one area of Coalisland are afflicted with the disease, which is almost four times higher than the lowest rate of 1.5%, which was recorded in Crossmaglen. The Northern Ireland average stands at 3.9%.
In the Clogher Valley, the picture is only slightly better with a 5.1% incidence of the disease.
Heart disease remains one of the main killers in Northern Ireland despite huge improvements in its treatment over many years, the Public Health Agency has said.
Dr Christine McMaster, public health consultant at the agency, warned: “We clearly have to do more to prevent and treat it so that people here have a better chance to remain healthy and live independently in their communities as they grow up and old.”
Dr McMaster added: “Heart disease remains one of the main killers in Northern Ireland and this is despite huge improvements in its treatment over many years.”
She said other government departments needed to play their part in creating healthier and safer environments for people.