Heart Disease To Cost UK £15bn In 2014
Heart disease is expected to cost £15bn by the end of 2014 with billions wiped from British productivity, a new study has suggested.
Britain's healthcare system will see that cost rise 22% to £18.3bn by 2020, the research produced by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) said.
The study, commissioned by pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca, also indicates that the cost to business of the disease afflicting working-age people is also significant.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest killer of men in the UK and the second biggest for women - after dementia and Alzheimer's disease - according to the Office for National Statistics.
CVD is related to heart attacks and strokes and can affect people of all ages.
The study said 194,239 lives have been lost to the disease this year, with more than 20,000 among the working age.
The CEBR said CVD will have caused a total of 1.1 million deaths across six European countries it looked at, costing their economies a total of £81.2bn.
The research examined the disease in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
It said that the figure is the equivalent to the GDP of a mid-sized European economy, such as Hungary.
CEBR economist Sandra Bernick said: "The costs from cardiovascular disease to the UK economy currently stand at 1.4% of GDP.
"This is large in comparison with other European nations and unless actions are taken to address this challenge, the economic burden will become ever more substantial."
The research calculated that across 2014 in Britain, the direct cost of the disease is £11.1bn, with another £3.8bn from lost productivity caused by premature mortality.
Tom Keith-Roach from AstraZeneca said: "The figures set out in this new study are stark.
"The financial burden of cardiovascular disease and the human impact on individuals and their families is only set to rise unless we address this epidemic head on.
"This requires a continued, coordinated focus across industry, academia, healthcare systems and governments."
Mr Keith-Roach added: "As a pharmaceutical company, we believe it is our responsibility to play an integral role in the prevention and treatment of the disease by pushing the boundaries of science to create life-changing medicines for patients."
The research comes ahead a CVD conference in Barcelona at the weekend.
(c) Sky News 2014