In less than 35 years, mortality rates from heart attacks and strokes have dropped by some 70 per cent in the UK, research reveals.
Advancements in medicine, better drugs, quicker ambulance response times, and improved treatments mean more people are surviving from cardiovascular problems.
The death rates have dropped from more than 900 cardiovascular deaths per 100,000 people in 1979, to around 300 in 2013, but heart disease still remains a massive problem for the NHS.
Hospital admissions for cardiovascular-related diseases are reaching record numbers, rising 11 per cent in the last decade, which many experts suggest is due to increasingly poor diets and sedentary lifestyles.
Across 2013/14, there were over 1.69 million hospital visits, including ordinary admissions and day cases, for cardiovascular disease.
However, heart disease death rates had decreased by 72 per cent in England, 70 per cent in Wales, 71 per cent in Scotland, and 76 per cent in Northern Ireland between 1979 and 2013.
“Despite large reductions in mortality from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke, these conditions have remained a substantial burden to the UK, with rises in treatment and hospital admissions”, said Dr Nick Townsend, an Oxford University researcher.
Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, which funded the study said: “Research has shown that immediate hospital treatment is the best way to ensure a good outcome for patients suffering a heart attack or stroke.
“And this is one of the reasons why death rates have fallen so much over recent decades.”