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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Heart Deaths in UK See First Rise in 50 Years

Lifestyle & Health

Leona Stratmann

Tue, 14 May 2019 20:57 GMT

For the first time in 50 years, the number of people who have died from heart and circulatory diseases before their 75th birthday has gone up in the UK, reported the British Heart Foundation on Tuesday, May 13th.

Their analysis was based on the latest national health statistics, the foundation said. Heart and circulatory diseases are still one of the leading areas of health problems people face. 1 in 4 in the UK die due to heart diseases and so many more are affected by the consequences. Family members, friends, colleagues could be in need of prevention, treatment or cures. And to improve those, research is essential. Thanks to research, medicine has made incredible leaps which has significantly increased our life expectancy.  

Which is why these latest results are even more disturbing. Deaths from heart and circulatory diseases among people under 75 were measured to be on the rise for the first time in 50 years and the rates were partly attributed to increasing rates of diabetes and obesity.  

In 2017 there were 42,384 deaths in those under 75 from heart and circulatory conditions, up from 41,042 in 2014. Numbers that led the charity to conclude that the historic pace of progress in reducing these deaths "has slowed to a near standstill". 

Even though the UK has made “phenomenal progress” in reducing the numbers of those who die directly of a heart attack or stroke, more people are dying each year from other heart and circulatory diseases before they reach their 75th, or even 65th, birthday, said the BHF’s Chief Executive, Simon Gillespie. 

Gillespie added that the foundation was “deeply concerned by this reversal”. As the main risk factors and an explanation for the reversing results, the analysis identified conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes in combination with a growing population. 

To do better in the future and provide improved care, Gillespie suggested, "We need to work in partnership with government, 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." 

Continued commitment from researchers, the public’s support, and more determination from governments were necessary to “'shift the dial' and imagine a 2030 where fewer people live with the fear of heart and circulatory disease," Gillespie concluded.