Sustained rise in heart and circulatory disease deaths

New British Heart Foundation analysis has found that the number of people dying from heart and circulatory diseases before they reach their 75th birthday is on the rise for the first time in 50 years.

The figures show an upward trend in deaths since 2014, with 42,384 people dying from conditions including heart attack and stroke in the UK before the age of 75 in 2017, compared to 41,042 three years earlier.

With the charity launching a new strategy, which warns against complacency and sets ambitions for the UK to halve premature death and disability from stroke, and increase heart attack survival to 90 per cent by 2030, the data also showcases how the number of deaths caused by heart and circulatory diseases in under 65s is also increasing, peaking at 18,668 in 2017, up from 17,982 five years earlier.

The new BHF strategy sets out key measures to make sure those with existing conditions and risk factors are detected and treated early, with more effective medicines and interventions. It also says that everyone, regardless of factors like gender, age, ethnicity, or where they live, should have access to the treatment, care and support that they need.

Simon Gillespie, British Heart Foundation chief executive, said: “In the UK we’ve made phenomenal progress in reducing the number of people who die of a heart attack or stroke. But we’re seeing more people die each year from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK before they reach their 75th, or even 65th, birthday. We are deeply concerned by this reversal.

“Heart and circulatory diseases remain a leading cause of death in the UK, with millions at risk because of conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. We need to work in partnership with governments, the NHS and medical research community to increase research investment and accelerate innovative approaches to diagnose and support the millions of people at risk of a heart attack or stroke.

“Only through the continued commitment of our researchers, the public’s generous support, and determination from governments can we 'shift the dial' and imagine a 2030 where fewer people live with the fear of heart and circulatory disease."

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