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 more than 161,000 deaths each year.

The cost of premature death, lost productivity, hospital treatment and prescriptions is estimated at £19 billion.

Coronary heart disease (CHD)

  • CHD is the UK's single biggest killer
  • Nearly one in six men and more than one in ten women die from coronary heart disease
  • CHD is responsible for almost 74,000 deaths in the UK each year, an average of 200 people each day
  • More than 25,000 people under the age of 75 in the UK die from CHD each year
  • There are nearly 2.3 million people living with coronary heart disease in the UK
  • There are nearly 1.4 million men and almost 900,000 women with CHD in the UK
  • Death rates from coronary heart disease are highest in Scotland and northern England and lowest in southern England
  • The UK spends nearly £2 billion each year on the healthcare costs of treating coronary heart disease.

Heart attack (myocardial infarction)

  • Most deaths from coronary heart disease are caused by a heart attack
  • There are around 103,000 heart attacks in the UK each year
  • Around 50,000 men and 32,000 women in England suffer a heart attack each year
  • We estimate there are 900,000 men and more than 400,000 women living in the UK who have had a heart attack. More than 750,000 of these are under the age of 75
  • In Scotland, between 2000 and 2009, the number of heart attacks decreased by around 25 per cent in both men and women, but is still much higher than England's rate
  • Every seven minutes someone dies of a heart attack in the UK
  • One in three people who have a heart attack die before reaching hospital

Heart failure

  • Over 750,000 people are living with heart failure in the UK
  • Incidence of heart failure is highest in Northern Ireland and lowest in England for both men and women


  • Stroke causes more than 41,000 deaths in the UK each year
  • There are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK each year
  • In England and Scotland, stroke incidence rates are about 25 per cent higher in men than women
  • Around 57,000 men and 68,000 women in England suffer a stroke every year
  • We estimate nearly 1.2 million people living in the UK have had a stroke - almost 650,000 men and 550,000 women. Around 700,000 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 nearly 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