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A new British Heart Foundation strategy has set the ambition for the UK to halve premature death and disability from stroke, and increase survival from heart attack to 90 per cent, by 2030.

The number of people dying from heart and circulatory diseases before they reach their 75th birthday is on the rise for the first time in 50 years, according to a new British Heart Foundation report.

The figures show an upward trend in deaths since 2014, with 42,384 people dying from conditions, including heart attack and stroke, in the UK before the age of 75 in 2017, compared to 41,042 three years earlier.

The number of deaths caused by heart and circulatory diseases in under 65s is also increasing, peaking at 18,668 in 2017, up from 17,982 five years earlier. This represents a four per cent rise in the last five years, compared to a 19 per cent decline in the five years before.

The charity says that a significant slowdown in the rate of improvement in death rates combined with a growing population is partly to blame. Between 2012-and-2017, the premature death rates for heart and circulatory disease in the UK fell by just nine per cent, compared to a fall of 25 per cent in the five years before (2007-to-2012).

Another contributing factor is that deaths in people under 75, as a proportion of all heart and circulatory disease deaths, are also on the rise. In the UK in 2017 28 per cent of all heart and circulatory disease deaths were in people under 75, compared to 26 per cent in 2012. Similarly, 12.2 per cent of the people who died from heart and circulatory disease in 2017 were under 65, compared to 11.2 per cent five years earlier.

The heart charity has also warned that uncontrolled and undiagnosed risk factors and stark inequalities could be leading to avoidable deaths in younger people.

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