Deaths from cancer and heart disease decline

Life/Critical Illness

Deaths from heart disease fall dramatically

Life expectancy in England continues to rise as the death rate from cancer and heart disease declines, official statistics show.

The life expectancy for men is now 78.4 while for women it is 82.4.

The death rate from cancer for people aged under 75 has fallen by 14% since 1999. The King's Fund said earlier this year that surgery and radiotherapy, rather than new cancer drugs, held the key to further improving survival rates.

The death rate from heart disease has fallen dramatically by 41%. This has been attributed to breakthroughs in prevention and treatment.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "What the figures hide is the fact that because more people are surviving their heart attacks, there are more than 750,000 people living with the debilitating effects of heart failure."

The charity has previously warned that heart failure patients lack access to specialist care.

Protection providers argue that consumers should be encouraged to invest in products designed to protect against critical illness and loss of income, given that the risk of dying prematurely is declining while the likelihood of living with a chronic disease is rising.


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