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The impact

CVD is the UK’s – and the world’s – number 1 killer.1, 2 Every day, 420 people in the UK die from CVD.2

With 7 million people in the UK living with CVD, someone you know – or maybe even yourself – has been touched by CVD.2

The wide reach of CVD doesn’t stop there. As a major cause of death and disability in the UK, CVD places a huge burden on the economy as well as the healthcare system.

Frighteningly, in recent years the number of people dying or suffering disability from CVD has been increasing for the first time in over 30 years. This is in part due to the increasing prevalence of ‘lifestyle diseases’ such as obesity and diabetes – major risk factors for CVD.

Around 7 million
people are living with cardiovascular disease in the UK.

The risk

CVD can affect anyone – man, woman, young, old. The risk factors that can be managed include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inactivity, obesity, diabetes, poor nutrition and excessive intake of alcohol.

Making lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and participating in regular physical activity can prevent up to 80 per cent of premature CVD, stroke and diabetes.3

Other risk factors which cannot be changed include age, gender, family history and ethnicity.

What is HRI doing?

HRI conducts groundbreaking research across a broad range of cardiovascular-related topics, in our goal to reduce the number of people who die from CVD and to offer a better life for those already suffering from the disease by developing next-generation treatments and medical devices.

Our Cardiovascular Medical Devices Group works to understand how medical device materials cause blood clots, and develops surface coatings to reduce blood clot formation on cardiovascular medical devices.

The Cardiovascular Neuroscience Group investigates how specialised areas of the brain contribute to the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.


  1. World Health Organization; Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
  2. British Heart Foundation; UK Factsheet
  3. World Health Organization; Noncommunicable diseases (NCD).


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