Health Secretary Plans To Tackle UK's High Cardiovascular Disease Death RateEditor's Choice
Main Category: Cardiovascular / Cardiology
Also Included In: Public Health
Article Date: 06 Mar 2013 - 0:00 PST
Health Secretary Plans To Tackle UK's High Cardiovascular Disease Death Rate
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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has just announced that the UK is developing a new plan to tackle cardiovascular disease (CVD) which could save up to 30,000 lives over the next several years.
The UK is behind a lot of other Western countries in managing cardiovascular diseases. Jeremy Hunt said that he hopes to change that, as he is striving to make life expectancy in England one of the top in Europe.
Currently, close to 30% of all deaths in England are due to CVDs, 150,000 people die every year in England from cancer, heart, stroke, respiratory or liver disease.
The biggest CVD killer in the UK at the moment is Coronary Heart Disease, which accounts for close to 74,000 deaths per year. Many experts believe that close to a quarter of these deaths are preventable and that more people need to be regularly checked for high blood pressure.
Mr Hunt said:
"Despite real progress in cutting deaths we remain a poor relative to our global cousins on many measures of health, something I want to change. For too long we have been lagging behind and I want the reformed health system to take up this challenge and turn this shocking underperformance around."
Jeremy Hunt plans to make life expectancy in England one of the top in Europe
In order to reduce the prevalence of respiratory diseases, Mr Hunt has called for more action in cutting smoking rates and focusing on improving care for people suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). A past study identified that smoking is a greater cause of premature death than poverty, and is a significant cause of health inequalities.
Respiratory diseases affect a lot of the British population, the asthma rate in England is one of the highest in the world - it's estimated that up to 6% of the country suffer from the condition - and that there are over three million people living with COPD.
Mr Hunt believes that people between 40 and 74 should receive health checks at least once every five years.
He concluded: "Today's proposals for those with cardiovascular diseases will bring better care, longer and healthier lives and better patient experience which we must all strive to deliver."
Researchers from the University of Washington, USA, led a study published in The Lancet yesterday which revealed that the United Kingdom is one of the unhealthiest countries in Western Europe, despite having sixty years of free universal health care and considerable increases in health care spending.
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
UK Department of Health
25 May. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257230.php>
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