New ambitions set for the prevention of cardiovascular disease

14th February 2019

Agreed ambitions for the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were launched today by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England.

The ambitions aim to improve early diagnosis and treatment of conditions that lead to CVD events, as well as reduce the health inequalities associated with CVD over the next 10 years.

CVD is the leading cause of death worldwide, with 17.9 million deaths each year. In England alone, it is the cause of one in four deaths, equating to one death every four minutes.

£7.4 billion is estimated to be spent annually linked to CVD; and although CVD mortality rates have almost halved over recent decades, the rate of increase in life expectancy has slowed since 2011 as improvements in heart disease mortality have plateaued. This highlights the need for a renewed focus on CVD prevention.

Poor cardiovascular health can lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and onset of vascular dementia. Improving the detection and management of common conditions such as Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and hypertension could lead to considerable health gains in this area. These high-risk conditions can be effectively treated, however late diagnosis and under treatment is common.

Dr Linda Edwards, Chief Executive of Education for Health, said “As a charity focused on improving the lives of those with long terms conditions, cardiovascular disease is one of our key priorities. We’re therefore particularly pleased to see this renewed drive for CVD prevention.

“By providing education and training for healthcare professionals we are able to support and enable them to manage complex conditions. The results being improved outcomes for their patients. With 1.4 million people in the UK impacted by Atrial Fibrillation, and a further half a million estimated to be undiagnosed, now is a crucial time to invest in CVD prevention.”

Return on investment

PHE estimates that improving the detection of risk factors could prevent 150,000 CVD events. Over a 10 year period the societal return on investment is estimated to be £2.30 for every £1.00 spent.

Hannah Waterhouse, Education Lead for Cardiovascular conditions, commented “We thoroughly endorse the ambitious targets on identification and management of AF, hypertension and cholesterol. We’ll work hard as an organisation to continue to provide the very best quality education and training and play our part in helping the healthcare workforce to achieve these goals.”

Further information:

Education for Health provides education and training for healthcare professionals delivering care for those with long term conditions. Our part-time accredited courses include Atrial Fibrillation, Stroke Prevention, and Cardiovascular Disease, among others.

More information about our courses can be found on our website:

Alternatively, please contact our team on: or +44 (0)1926 836835.