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The UK's cardiovascular disease (CVD) statistics compiled by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) provide an overview of the extraordinary decline in cardiovascular mortality in this country in the past 50 years. Extracts from the 2014 report—based largely on 2012 data—are previewed in the linked paper1 and confirm a continuing trend, the current age-standardised mortality rates for CVD being about 50% lower than in 1961 for both men and women.2 Total CVD deaths for both sexes have fallen by >40%, driven largely by declines in coronary heart disease and stroke mortality that have been comparable between the sexes. These UK mortality trends for CVD must rank among the greatest public health triumphs in the past 50 years but need to be seen in a broader, less encouraging context, in which population ageing and growth has driven a 41% increase in global CVD mortality since 1990.3 In the UK, health gains have offset these demographic forces sufficiently to reduce the numbers …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.