Heart and circulatory disease deaths rise for first time in 50 years

Heart and circulatory disease deaths in people under 75 years of age in the UK has risen for the first time in 50 years, according to recent statistics from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

In 2014, there were 41 042 deaths from conditions related to circulatory and heart diseases in people aged under 75 years. Since then, the figure has slowly increased to reach 42 384 in 2017. This upward trend can also be seen in people aged under 65 years, with a 4% increase in premature deaths related to heart and circulatory disease in the last five years compared to a 19% decline in the five years before 2012.

The BHF say that the increase is due to multiple factors including rising rates of obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol and blood pressure in the UK population; along with the treatment challenges presented by a growing population and a lack of recent progress into novel treatments for heart and circulatory diseases.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the BHF, 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.’

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