Cardiovascular disease to increase dramatically by 2040 says health auth.

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The number of people suffering from cardiovascular disease in the Netherlands will increase by more than half a million by 2040. In that year 1.4 Dutch people will have had a heart attack or stroke or will be suffering from heart failure, compared to 850 thousand in 2011, according to calculations public health institute RIVM did for the Heart Foundation, broadcaster NOS reports. 

The RIVM based its calculations on population projections from Statistics Netherlands and data on the number of smokers, people with cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Cardiovascular disease is the number two killer in the Netherlands, after cancer. Last year 38 thousand people died of heart disease. The total cost of care for cardiovascular disease patients amounts to more than 8 billion euros a year, according to the Heart Foundation.

The aging population contributes significantly to the increase in cardiovascular disease patients, but the main cause is unhealthy lifestyle. If all the people in the Netherlands got their blood pressure to the right level, the number of cardiovascular disease patients in 2040 can be reduced by 360 thousand, according to the RIVM. If everyone stops smoking, that number can be reduced by another 320 thousand.