Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure and stroke, affects the lives of millions of people and causes one of the highest death and disability rates: an estimated 17.3 million people die of CVD worldwide every year.1 It still accounts for over 30 per cent of all deaths in the UK2, even though huge improvements have been made over the past 50 years in the prevention of CVD and despite CVD-related mortality rates declining (the last decade has seen a 40 per cent reduction in deaths among those under 75 years of age). Importantly, many of these deaths are preventable and it is estimated that over 95 per cent of people in the UK would benefit from some form of primary prevention.3
Simple treatments and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing CVD, even among those considered at high risk. In fact, an estimated 44 per cent of the decrease in heart disease deaths between 1980 and 2000 was attributable to prevention, as a result of reducing the effects of risk factors.4
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