The number of people living with heart disease in the UK is rising at a faster pace than any other major Western nation, with the number of heart disease deaths expected to reach around 500,000 this year.
However, the number is expected to remain fairly stable over the next two decades.
In the meantime, the UK has the highest number of patients living with coronary heart disease at more than 1.6 million, according to the National Heart Foundation.
It is thought the true figure is much higher.
The numbers of people with heart diseases in Britain has been rising steadily for years, but has been steadily declining for the past three years, according the government’s own statistics.
According to the NHS Foundation Trust, there were 7.4 million heart disease cases in the year to March 2016, up from 6.6m in the previous three years.
The number is forecast to rise to 8.5 million cases this year, a rise of nearly 2.6% over the previous year.
The NHS Foundation also warns that by the end of the decade, there will be more than 5.5m cases of cardiovascular disease in England.
But the UK still has the third-highest rate of heart attacks in the world at over a quarter of a million a year.
It comes as more than a third of heart attack patients are living with chronic heart disease.
According to the charity, nearly half of those who have been admitted to hospital for treatment have been heart attacks.
The charity’s head of policy, Peter McBride, said: “With heart disease now being recognised as the biggest killer of young adults in the country, it is clear that it is an epidemic, not a disease, and the NHS needs to step up its commitment to supporting patients with chronic health conditions.”
We know from our research that when the NHS supports patients with heart attacks, they are happier and healthier.
This is an area where we are already making significant progress.”
He added: “If we want to achieve a better quality of life for our nation, we need to support people who have heart attacks and heart disease as they transition into a new phase of their lives.”
In April, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, pledged £100 million to the UK’s national charity, the National Association for Heart and Stroke (NASH), for research into treatments for chronic heart problems.
This was the first time the money has been pledged by a government.
However, the research into how the NHS can help patients with a variety of chronic conditions is a controversial subject and critics say it is being used to push for changes in the NHS and health care systems.
“These treatments are being tested in hospitals and across the country to test out their effectiveness and safety, and we are delighted that the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) has agreed to fund the development of these treatments in their next phase of clinical trials.” “
The National Association of Heart and Lung Disease has been working with the National Health Service (NHS) and NHS England for years to identify and develop novel treatments that are proven to improve the health and wellbeing of people affected by chronic conditions,” the spokesperson said.
“These treatments are being tested in hospitals and across the country to test out their effectiveness and safety, and we are delighted that the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) has agreed to fund the development of these treatments in their next phase of clinical trials.”
However the National Society for Heart, Lung, and Blood Disorders said the money would be better spent on prevention.
NASH said it was concerned about the “widespread use of the National Ambulatory Medical Care Scheme (NAMCS) to target patients with non-life-threatening heart disease with interventions that would not reduce their risk of having a heart attack”.
The charity said that, while it supported the NHS in developing and funding the research, it also recognised that the NHS must invest in people with chronic conditions and that their needs and circumstances need to be taken into account.
“These interventions may be very expensive and may not work,” it said.
“However, we recognise that this is a crucial first step to prevent the increase in the number and number of cases of heart failure and coronary heart diseases that is predicted to occur by the year 2020.”
According a recent report by the Institute of Economic Affairs, a non-partisan think tank, the NHS spends about £1,000 per person a year on care for people with a chronic condition such as heart disease and a heart condition related to diabetes.
It estimates that spending on treatment and rehabilitation could be £1.2 billion per year by the time the NHS is ready to invest that money.
This is part of an article on the Heart Foundation blog, published on Friday 11 January, covering heart disease prevention and research.