Coronary heart disease leading cause of death for men aged 50 and over in 2013

27 February 2015        

A man clutching his chest in pain as if he is having a heart attack. A woman stands by him, concerned, with her arms on his shoulders.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) was the leading cause of death for men aged 50 and over in 2013, according to latest figures.

More than 36,000 deaths for men aged 50 and over were attributed to CHD in 2013.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that CHD is still the leading cause of death in England and Wales.

Nearly 64,000 people died from coronary heart disease across England and Wales in 2013.

Leading cause of death amongst men

It was the leading cause of death amongst men with 37,797 deaths from the disease, more than double the next biggest killer, lung cancer.

For women, CHD killed 26,075 and was the second biggest killer in 2013 behind deaths attributed to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Professor Peter Weissberg, our Medical Director, said: “Coronary heart disease remains the single biggest killer in the UK and continues to devastate thousands of families every year.

“While these figures show that it is clearly the leading cause of death for older men, it’s important to remember that women are just as susceptible to coronary heart disease and it is the second biggest killer among women of all ages.

 “We've made great progress over the last 50 years but we still need to fund much more research to stop people dying needlessly, and to help the increasing number of people living with heart disease.

“If you’re over 40 you’re entitled to a free NHS Health Check which can help you understand your risk of developing heart disease.”

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is when your coronary arteries that supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls.

If a piece of the fatty material breaks off it may cause a blood clot to form, which can block your coronary artery and lead to a heart attack.

Check your heart health

If you are worried about your heart health, use our heart age tool to check your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.