Coronary heart disease remains second leading cause of death in England and Wales

25 October 2018        

Category: BHF Comment

A hospital ECG print out

Coronary heart disease caused 10.9% of deaths in England and Wales in 2017, making it the second most common cause of death, according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The report, published earlier this week, highlighted a number of trends, including increases in the numbers of people dying from dementia, and further decreases in deaths from heart disease and stroke.

Coronary heart disease is when the heart’s coronary arteries become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls. This can cause a potentially fatal heart attack.

The ONS data revealed that although the proportion of deaths caused by coronary heart disease have decreased since the previous year, it was still the leading cause of death for males in 2017, accounting for 13.7% of deaths.

Chronic lower respiratory diseases, which affect the lungs, were the third most common cause of death in England and Wales, overtaking stroke. But the leading cause of death was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, increasing to nearly 12.7% of all deaths registered. This includes vascular dementia, a condition caused by problems with the blood supply to an area of the brain.

We fund research into identifying people who are more at risk of vascular dementia, who have been diagnosed with other heart and circulatory diseases as we know they're connected.

Speaking about the new figures our Chief Executive Simon Gillespie said:

“It is good news that we have seen a decrease in deaths caused by heart disease, but we know that this is not the whole picture. Far too many people are unaware they are living with conditions that cause heart attacks and strokes such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and high cholesterol. Identifying and treating these conditions must be a priority for the health service in England as it plans for the next ten years.”

Find out more about heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia, and what connects them.

It's all connected