Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the term used for heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases. It's the leading cause of death in the UK.
In the 1960s, it was not uncommon for British citizens to die of heart attacks in their 50s or 60s. The effects of smoking, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity on the development of heart disease were unknown. Following a heart attack there were limited treatments for the damage suffered by the heart. Those patients who did not die from their heart attack remained severely debilitated.
The worldwide death rate for coronary heart disease rose steadily during the first half of the 20th century, reaching a peak in 1968. Had this rate of coronary heart death continued to rise, today, more than 1.7 million lives each year would be lost to heart disease.
Fortunately, and thanks to medical advancements, this number has decreased. In addition, the death rate from stroke, the third most common cause of death, has declined by about 75 percent since the early 1960s.
Despite recent improvements, it remains one of the biggest health concerns. CVD affects many, and millions more are prevented from living a full life because of CVD related disability. Have you considered how your loved ones would cope if you were taken ill, even temporarily, and they had to manage the family finances without you?
Hundreds of thousands of people will come to rely on relatives or carers to help manage their finances in the next 12 months because of illness or an accident. But most families are unprepared for such an outcome.
One vital document gives family members authority to handle the financial affairs of a loved one in need – meaning they can stay on top of household bills. It is known as a lasting power of attorney. But 44 million people do not have one – 85 per cent of the UK adult population. And two-fifths of adults do not know what one is.
It can be set up in less than an hour and registered properly with the relevant government department in eight to ten weeks. LPAs can help everyone plan for the future, whatever it holds.