Cardiovascular Disease
Overview |Key Resources |Contacts


Although mortality from Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in the UK is declining, it continues to be the most common cause of death. More than one in five men and one in six women die from the disease. Around 2 million people aged over 35 suffer from angina, while it is likely that around 146,000 people have a heart attack annually. Both morbidity and mortality vary geographically, with higher rates in the North of the UK compared to the South. There are also socio-economic and ethnic differences, with higher rates of CVD in manual workers compared to non-manual workers and higher rates in South Asians compared to the population as a whole.

Reducing CVD is a major public health focus with a national target of reducing rates by 40% by 2010 (based on Health of the Nation target from 1999). This target has been met five years early.

Primary prevention concentrates on altering modifiable lifestyle factors including diet, exercise and obesity as well as stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake. Public health also has a role to play in secondary and tertiary prevention including ensuring appropriate availability of medication as necessary and equity of access to high quality surgical procedures.

SEPHO is the lead public health observatory for Cardiovascular Disease.

Key resources

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Last review Dec 2009