British Heart Foundation warns of 29% increase in associated illnesses by 2035
The number of heart attacks and strokes in England will soar in the next two decades as the diabetes epidemic sweeping the country takes its toll, a charity has warned.
The growing number of people with diabetes could trigger a 29% rise in the number of heart attacks and strokes linked to the condition by 2035, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has predicted.
The charity has estimated that 39,000 people living with diabetes will suffer a heart attack in 2035, a rise of 9,000 compared with 2015.
Meanwhile, more than 50,000 people will have a stroke, a rise of 11,000, the charity said. Cases of angina and heart failure are also set to soar.
The BHF said that over the next two decades the number of people with diabetes in England was set to increase from four million to five million – partly due to the rise in cases of obesity, which is leading to increasing cases of type 2 diabetes. It said that patients with type 2 diabetes were two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
The charity has called for more research into the links between heart and circulatory problems. It also called for “bold action” to tackle obesity and inactivity.
BHF chief executive Simon Gillespie said the figures pointed to “an extremely worrying trend” and called for “further regulatory action to reduce sugar and fat content in food, and to curb junk food advertising directed at young children”.
He added: “The food industry is not acting quickly enough to re-formulate its products, despite mounting evidence of their impact on the nation’s health.
“We also need continued research that will enable us to better understand how diabetes leads to these deadly heart and circulatory conditions, and how we can stop it.”
Dr Jenny Harries, deputy medical director at Public Health England (PHE), said: “Everyone can make important lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These include losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and cutting back on alcohol.”