Researchers from Oxford University's Health Economics Research Center say that heart disease costs the UK a staggering £29 billion each year. This is a total of 18 percent of Britain's healthcare budget. The findings of the study are reported in the online edition of the journal Heart.
The researchers said that healthcare accounted for 60 percent of the costs, 23 percent made lost productivity and the rest in informal care. The report is based on all UK residents diagnosed with heart disease in 2004. Heart disease also cost the NHS £16 billion in 2004. The report added that 69 million workdays were lost due to heart disease in 2004.
Reacting to the report, Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said, "Since approximately 40% of all deaths in the UK are from cardiovascular disease, it is not surprising that it costs the nation such a large amount. The unfortunate thing is that we know that much of this disease burden could be reduced or even abolished with appropriate public health measures such as reducing smoking, increasing opportunities for exercise and improving the nation's diet."
Dr Georgios Lyatzopoulos, of the Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority wrote in an accompanying article that increasing obesity rates meant that heart disease rates would also continue to grow.