Published: 20/03/2003, Volume II3, No. 5847 Page 23
The national service framework on coronary heart disease has achieved a great success in contributing to the rapid reduction of adult deaths from CHD (the HSJ interview, pages 22-23, 6 March). Heart disease czar Dr Roger Boyle and his colleagues throughout the NHS are to be congratulated. We agree with Dr Boyle that the even greater challenge now is to reduce the incidence of CHD by preventing its resurgence in future generations.
This can only be accomplished through primary prevention, starting with children and young people, and the National Heart Forum hopes that this will be the mainstay of the framework now being developed for children and young people. If successful, the benefits will be reductions in all associated chronic diseases.
We believe that it is possible to have a generation free from all avoidable CHD and are taking this forward through our young@heart policy framework, available at www. heartforum. org. uk It is axiomatic that decisions about the future should be made now. Derek Wanless has significantly reiterated the same issue in his report to the Treasury on securing our future health.
Given the very worrying indicators on children's health behaviours, we must act now.
There is a unique policy and investment opportunity to make one of the greatest contributions to a future generation; the alternative is that we leave a legacy of avoidable chronic disease as a consequence of our inaction.
Paul Lincoln Chief executive National Heart Forum