Cardiovascular disease statistics

Doctor examining a angioplasty scan

Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for all diseases of the heart and circulation, including heart disease, stroke, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and atrial fibrillation.

Collectively, heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK, accounting for around 160,000 deaths each year.

There are seven million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK.

The total cost of premature death, lost productivity, hospital treatment and prescriptions relating to cardiovascular disease is estimated at £19 billion.

Coronary heart disease (CHD)

  • CHD is the UK's single biggest killer
  • Nearly one in six men and one in ten women die from coronary heart disease
  • CHD is responsible for around 73,000 deaths in the UK each year, an average of 200 people each day, or one every seven minutes.
  • Around 23,000 people under the age of 75 in the UK die from CHD each year
  • There are 2.3 million people living with coronary heart disease in the UK
  • There are over 1.4 million men and around 850,000 women with CHD in the UK
  • Death rates from coronary heart disease are highest in Scotland and northern England and lowest in southern England.

Heart attack (myocardial infarction)

  • Most deaths from coronary heart disease are caused by a heart attack
  • There are around 175,000 heart attacks in the UK each year, one every three minutes
    Around 110,000 men and 65,000 women in the UK suffer a heart attack each year


  • Stroke causes more than 40,000 deaths in the UK each year
  • In the UK there are 235,000 hospital episodes attributed to stroke each year  
  • We estimate 1.3 million people living in the UK have had a stroke - 650,000 men and 650,000 women. Almost half of these people are under the age of 75.

Risk factors

  • The prevalence of smoking among adults is lower in England (20%) than in Northern Ireland (24%), Scotland (25%) and Wales (23%)
  • More than 100,000 smokers in the UK die from smoking-related causes each year, including about 22,000 from heart and circulatory diseases
  • Nearly a quarter of adults in the UK are obese
  • Around 30 per cent of children in the UK are overweight or obese
  • One-third of men and nearly half of women do not achieve recommended levels of physical activity
  • Only a quarter of adults and one in five children consume the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day
  • More than a third of men and over a quarter of women regularly exceed the government recommended limits for alcohol intake
  • Over a quarter of adults in the UK have high blood pressure and half of them are not receiving treatment for the condition
  • Over half of adults in the UK have high blood cholesterol levels of 5mmol/l or above.

Download more heart statistics