BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 4 December, 2002, 00:03 GMT
UK heart failure toll rises
High levels of homocysteine are linked to heart disease
The number of people with heart failure will rise to 1.5 million in the UK alone by the year 2015, according to forecasts.

The trend is being driven by a rapidly ageing population, says independent market analyst, Datamonitor.


Advances will be limited until new therapies offering hope of a cure are developed

Christine Hollidge, Datamonitor
The existing treatment also means more patients survive heart attacks but go on to develop heart failure.

There are already more than 800,000 heart failure sufferers in the UK, costing the NHS more than 625m a year.

Datamonitor warns this figure will rise dramatically as more people succumb to the disease.

Treatment delays

Christine Hollidge, cardiovascular analyst at Datamonitor, said that treatment of heart failure itself had also improved dramatically.

Diagnosis was often delayed, however, and recommended treatments remained widely under-used.

"The Department of Health is tackling this growing problem in its National Service Framework for Coronary Heart disease and has provided funding for further research into heart failure," she said.

"However, although there is significant room for improvement, advances will be limited until new therapies offering hope of a cure are developed."

Research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) suggests heart disease costs the UK 7bn a year.

It includes non-medical costs, such as lost earnings to the economy, and is seven times more than was previously thought.

Lifestyle changes

Belinda Linden, head of medical information for the BHF, said the Datamonitor report confirmed that heart failure will become an increasing problem for the UK, as in other western countries.

"We have known for some time that heart failure is a growing problem," she told BBC News Online.

"As more people live with the consequences of heart disease and as the population ages, more people are likely to develop this debilitating and chronic condition."

The BHF says there will be a need for further investment in research and care to improve the outlook for people with the condition.

Recently, it launched a network of 19 specialist nurses to help care for heart failure sufferers in the community and there are plans for further expansion of this network. But it believes many cases of heart failure could be avoided.

Ms Linden said: "By making lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, getting 30 minutes of physical activity on five days a week and eating less saturated fat, people could reduce their risks of developing coronary heart disease which often leads to heart failure."

See also:

09 May 02 | Health
23 Nov 01 | Health
10 Dec 00 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes