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Cardiovascular Health 2019

Heart and circulatory diseases – the facts

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British Heart Foundation

Your body holds a 60,000 mile network of blood vessels, with your heart at its centre. But if anything goes wrong with this system, there can be devastating consequences.

There are around 7.4 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK

170,000 deaths from heart and circulatory diseases each year – an average of 460 people each day or one death every three minutes.


Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

  • CHD is responsible for around 64,000 deaths in the UK each year, an average of 180 people each day, or one death around every eight minutes.
  • 2.3 million people in the UK living with CHD
  • People with heart diseases are 2x more likely to develop vascular dementia

Heart attack

  • In the UK more than 100,000 hospital admissions each year are due to heart attacks; that’s 280 admissions each day, or 1 every 5minutes

Heart failure

  • People with heart failure are 2-3 times more likely to have a stroke
  • Around 920,000 people are living with heart failure


  • Every 5 minutes someone is admitted to UK hospital due to a stroke
  • There are 1.3 million stroke survivors in the UK
  • Cause around 36,000 deaths in UK each year

Vascular dementia

  • Around 150,000 people in the UK have vascular dementia
  • Vascular dementia accounts for three quarters of dementia in stroke survivors

Risk factors


  • Nearly 3.8 million adults in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Can cause damage to blood vessels
  • People with diabetes twice as likely to have a stroke
  • One third of adults with diabetes die from a heart or circulatory disease
  • People with diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to develop vascular dementia

High blood pressure

  • More than 1 in 4 adults have high blood pressure in the UK
  • Around 50% of heart attacks and strokes are associated with high blood pressure
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