chapter
Background
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In the UK about 5% of men and 4% of women have or have had angina. Each year in the UK alone, 320 000 people consult for angina and 340 000 experience myocardial infarcts. CAD is an equal opportunity killer affecting postmenopausal and premenopausal women as well as men. Among women, deaths from ischaemic heart disease (IHD) are seven times more common than deaths from breast cancer (Table 1) and four times more common than deaths from lung cancer. In both sexes the prevalence of angina increases with age. Between 45 and 54 years of age, 2-5% of men and 0.1-1% of women have angina but this rises to 11-20% of men and 10-15% of women aged between 65 and 74 years. Above 75 years of age, the prevalence is the same for men and women, at 1 in 3. In Europe where CAD is common, approximately 20 000 to 40 000 per 1 million of the population (men and women) have angina, and half of these are significantly limited as a consequence.