Additionally, according to World Bank data collected between 1980 and 2015, the UK spent less GDP on health than any other country, which demonstrates that the NHS comparatively achieves more with proportionately less, in terms of funding. The USA, however, spends far more GDP on health than any other country in the world, but still finds itself on the top of many mortality league tables.
Professor Colin Pritchard, who led the research, explains: “Whilst heart disease is still a major threat, the good news is that over the past 25 years deaths rates have halved in the Western world. Moreover, in the 55-74 age band, there have been major reductions, contributing to longevity and lower disability.
He added: “The especially good news is that the UK has had the biggest reduction of all 21 countries, and significantly bigger falls than 15 other Western nations, including France, Germany and the USA. However, the USA had the lowest reduction over the period and had the highest rate of all 21 countries.”
The research found the prevention of cardiovascular disease could be down to multiple factors, including pan UK public health innovations, the National Service Framework to reduce heart attacks and a framework to deal with longer term conditions.
Professor Pritchard warns: “With greater demands on the NHS, and with substantially lower average health expenditure than other countries and the increasing weight problems of people in their 30’s and 40’s, we are not sure how long the NHS can maintain it success. Nonetheless, this research should be a boost for patients, their families and front-line NHS staff.”