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Health: Heart Disease

Volume 711: debated on Monday 1 June 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the decrease in cardiovascular disease attributed to dietary changes between 1980 and 2008; and what has been the increase in cardiovascular disease associated with obesity and diabetes over that period. [HL3762]

Death rates from cardiovascular disease for people under age 75 are down by 44 per cent from 1995-97 baseline, saving nearly 33,000 lives in 2007, compared to 1996. The target of reducing premature mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and related conditions by at least 40 per cent has also been met five years ahead of schedule.

The national service framework for CHD (March 2000) set out a 10-year framework for action to prevent disease, tackle inequalities, save more lives, and improve the quality of life for people with heart disease. A study into the reasons for declining mortality rates from coronary heart disease in England and Wales between 1981 and 2000, found that 58 per cent of the decline was attributable to major risk factors rather than treatment. The principal factor was reduced smoking.

Overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk of CHD and type 2 diabetes. The World Health Organisation's world health report 2002 estimated that, in developed countries about a third of CHD and ischaemic stroke and about 60 per cent of hypertensive disease was caused by being overweight.