In 2022, over 39,000 people in England died prematurely of cardiovascular conditions

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has revealed new data showing that early heart disease deaths in England have risen to the highest level seen since 2008.

New figures show that over 39,000 people in England died prematurely of cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks, coronary heart disease and stroke, in 2022.

Cardiovascular disease is a general term for conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels in the body.

In the UK, there are currently around 7.6 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases.

Before 2012, the number and rate of deaths from these types of conditions among people under the age of 75 were falling.

However, recent statistics have shown that the rate of premature deaths from cardiovascular disease has increased in England for three years.

Last year, the organisation reported results from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, which revealed that there were over 100,000 excess deaths involving cardiovascular conditions in England since February 2020.

BHF has suggested a number of key factors that could be linked to the increase in heart disease deaths, which include an increasingly unhealthy population, widening health inequalities in England in the past year, extreme pressures on the NHS, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential effects of COVID-19 infection.

In addition, a “lack of meaningful action” from the government in the past ten years to address many of the causes of cardiovascular diseases could be contributing to the increase in cardiovascular deaths, BHF said.

The charity has called for urgent action on three fronts, including the better prevention of heart disease and stroke, the prioritisation of NHS heart care and supercharging cardiovascular research to find new treatments and cures.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive, BHF, said that the UK government needs to “unite to address the preventable causes of heart disease, cut long waiting lists for people who need lifesaving heart and stroke care, and help power scientific breakthroughs to unlock revolutionary new treatments and cures”.