Despite an impressive decline in death from heart disease in the UK over the last decade, diseases of the heart and circulatory system (CVD) are still the main cause of death - responsible for one in three of all deaths. In 2008 191,000 people died from CVD in the UK. About half of all deaths from CVD (46%) are from coronary heart disease (CHD) and about a quarter are from stroke.
In 2008, coronary heart disease caused just under 88,000 deaths: approximately one in five deaths in men and one in eight deaths in women and caused 50,000 premature deaths. This compares to around 35,000 deaths a year from lung cancer, 16,000 deaths from colo-rectal cancer and 12,000 deaths from breast cancer. The British Heart Foundation states in its report Coronary Heart Disease Statistics 2010: ‘While moderate consumption (one or two drinks a day) does not increase the risk of CVD, it is estimated that 2% of CHD and 5% of stroke in men is due to excessive drinking. The impact of alcohol consumption in women in developed countries was estimated to be positive - that is, if no alcohol were consumed, there would have been a 3% increase in CHD and a 16% increase in stroke’.
Source: Scarborough P, Bhatnagar P, Wickramasinghe K, Smolina K, Mitchell C, Rayner M (2010). Coronary heart disease statistics 2010 edition. British Heart Foundation: London.