MORE than £65m is being spent on improving cardiac care in Yorkshire this year.
Improvements in treatment have already led to a reduction in the number of deaths from cardio-vascular disease.
The number of people aged under 75 dying of a heart attack is down by 23% after the increase in cash.
Margaret Edwards, chief executive of the NHS in Yorkshire, said: “Heart disease is the biggest killer in Yorkshire and Humberside.
“Patients are already benefiting from the facilities we have gained as a result of this money.
“The amount of people dying in the region from heart disease has already been dramatically reduced.”
More than 70% of Yorkshire people receive thrombolysis, a life-saving cardiac treatment, within 60 minutes of calling for help.
Nationally the figure was as low as 21% in 2001, but is steadily rising.
As part of the £65m pound investment throughout the region £45m is being invested in a state of the art cardiac unit in Hull.
Six laboratories at Leeds General Infirmary are now up and running, with 1,000 heart attack patients having already received vital heart surgery.
NHS Yorkshire has received £7.4m from the Big Lottery Fund and £50.1m from the Government Health Department’s Major Schemes fund.
The department invested £7.8m in the catheter laboratories at Leeds.
Heart attack patients in Kirklees and Calderdale are now being offered the chance to try out a new heart drug as part of a five-year study.
It is part of an inquiry to see whether taking drugs to boost good cholesterol can reduce the risk of a heart attack.
The drugs will be offered to patients previously admitted to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary or the Calderdale Royal Hospital.