Thousands of lives are being lost every year as we lag behind other nations on tackling conditions that cause heart attacks and strokes.
Better treatment of high blood pressure could save 20,000 people over 10 years, according to the British Heart Foundation.
And the charity added that 115,000 cases of heart disease could be prevented.
It said our progress in reducing early deaths has stalled in recent years and Canada, the US and Sweden are all doing better jobs than England.
BHF chief executive Simon Gillespie said: “For too long our health system has been responding to heart attacks or strokes rather than detecting and managing the causes.
“Unless we change our approach, progress could reverse and thousands of lives could be lost prematurely.”
Lives are also being lost as rising obesity rates drive a surge in type 2 diabetes.
And millions are living with undiagnosed high blood pressure and raised cholesterol.
All three conditions can lead to heart attacks.
A plan called Turning Back the Tide on Heart and Circulatory Diseases claims hospital admissions could be cut by 50,000.
The BHF is urging NHS England to give better access to cutting-edge treatments and rethink rehabilitation.
It also wants to see more action on air quality, obesity and smoking.
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