This site has been optimized to work with modern browsers and does not fully support your version of Internet Explorer.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) encompasses all heart and circulatory diseases including stroke, coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack and vascular dementia. CVD is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the UK but is largely preventable through healthy lifestyle choices and detection and management of risk factors such as hypertension (high blood pressure), atrial fibrillation (AF) and high cholesterol.

CVD is strongly associated with health inequalities – ethnic minority groups are at greater risk. There is significant variation in outcomes with those in the most deprived 10% of the population being almost twice as likely to die from CVD than those in the least deprived 10%. People with severe mental illness have an 85% higher risk of dying from CVD than the general population.

Cardiovascular disease prevention is a priority area within the NHS Long Term Plan which sets out a clear ambition to prevent 150,000 strokes, heart attacks and dementia cases over the next ten years. Targeted CVD prevention initiatives directly reduce health inequalities and are highly cost effective in preventing cardiovascular events.

In 2020 NHS England and the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) commissioned all AHSNs to deliver a national lipid management and familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) programme. This runs until October 2023. The programme aims to prevent heart attacks, strokes, peripheral arterial disease and vascular dementia through:

  • improved management of cholesterol
  • increased detection of FH
  • optimised medicines use

Health Innovation Oxford and Thames Valley’s CVD prevention programme is aligned to the national programme, the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions and the priorities of integrated care systems within our region. Our focus is on improved detection and management of atrial fibrillation, hypertension and high cholesterol (in partnership with Heart UK).

We are also working with innovators to support the translation of research and development related to CVD into clinical practice. We advise companies seeking to develop and evaluate new diagnostic, devices, digital and AI technologies in line with NHS priorities and population needs.

Read more about our work to address cardiovascular disease