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BHF - Heart failure clouds remarkable heart attack turnaround

More than two thirds of people who suffer a heart attack are now surviving, turning figures from four decades ago on their head, according to data BHF have released.

BHF's new TV and text-to-donate campaign is urging support our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal which is taking the fight to heart failure by funding regenerative medicine research that could cure the condition.

BHF's latest figures show more than two in three people in England struck by a heart attack now survive, with survival rates of 70 per cent for women and 68 per cent for men.

Although directly comparable data is not available before 2002, a sample study from Oxfordshire between 1974 and 1978 shows a staggering two thirds of men and women aged 65-69 died from their heart attack.

Even though heart attack deaths are decreasing, there is little evidence that is also true of heart failure. The most recent audit shows as many as 70 per cent of heart failure cases are caused by coronary heart disease and 750,000 people now live with the condition in the UK.

Heart failure occurs when so much heart muscle is damaged by the heart attack that the heart can’t pump blood around the body as well as it should. Three quarters of people with severe heart failure will not live beyond five years.

BHF's Medical Director, Professor Peter Weissberg, said: “We’re undergoing an unprecedented period of change when it comes to the heart health of the nation.

“It’s pleasing that decades of British Heart Foundation-funded research has contributed to the dramatic fall in heart attack deaths over recent years.  But that means more and more people are surviving heart attacks with damaged hearts and there is now an urgent need to find ways of reversing that damage.

“Our scientists are making great strides in this fight against heart failure but success will require much more money and much more research to ensure that momentum is not lost."

Help us continue our vital work to mend broken hearts by texting FIGHT to 70123 and give £3, or make a donation today. Terms and conditions apply.

But news of fewer heart attack deaths shouldn't mask the devastating burden that heart failure is now placing on the UK.

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