Heart failure carries a higher risk of death than most common types of cancer, according to new research from the University of Aberdeen.
The study, a first of its kind, discovered that five years post-diagnosis, men with heart failure had a 64% greater risk of dying than men with prostate cancer.
For women, those diagnosed with heart failure had an 82% greater risk of death compared to those with breast cancer.
Data for the research was collected from more than 56,000 people between 2000 and 2011 from 393 general practices in Scotland.
This is the first study of its kind to compare the effects of heart failure and cancer in the primary care setting for men and women separately and represents a mixture of age, gender and socioeconomic status.
The University of Aberdeen’s Professor Phyo Kyaw Myint, who was involved in the study, said the results shed light on a complex condition.
He said: “Patients with heart failure also have other co-morbid diseases, and therefore understanding of outcome in this patient group is important for clinicians.
“This study also reminds us that observational studies are important in clinical research because clinical trials do not include the typical older people we manage in day to day clinical practice.”
In February it was revealed the number of people diagnosed with heart disease in the North-east had risen for the first time in five years.
Last year, more than 7,200 cases of heart attack, heart failure, angina, chest pain and coronary heart disease were recorded by NHS Grampian.
Heart failure saw the biggest jump in admissions, rising by more than 100 cases between 2014/15 and 2015/16.
Until last year the number of people who were suffering from heart disease in the North-east had been falling.
The British Heart Foundation said that although the latest statistics show an increase in heart disease diagnosis in the region, they remain hopeful the number will not continue to climb.
In 2016, 214,482 people were admitted to Scottish hospitals for heart complaints – up from 202,704 in 2014/15 and a 10-year high.