Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in Britain today, accounting for some 235,000 deaths a year.

More importantly, angina and shortness of breath relating to heart disease can severely limit the sufferer's physical activities, making life miserable and compounding the anxiety of the individual and their family members.

Heart disease can also lead to stroke. The cost to the NHS of coronary heart disease alone is about £1.6 billion a year.

Epidemiological studies have shown a worrying trend for the future development of heart disease in our young population.

Surveys show only 55 per cent of boys and 39 per cent of girls aged between two and 15 years do the recommended amount of daily exercise.

The Health Education Authority suggests all children and young people, aged five to 18, take moderate exercise for an hour a day, five days a week. Exercise is one vital factor which can prevent heart disease.

The causes include smoking, excessive drinking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight - all of which are preventable.

Modern medical advice promotes preventing heart disease through regular exercise or taking medicine to reduce cholesterol but who is going to motivate the young and old to do regular exercise or reduce stress and live a more contented and happy life?

Are we addressing the issues of conflict in our lives, our negative emotions, our anxieties and stress, our unfulfilling relationships? These are, I believe, the root cause of heart disease and high blood pressure. We have developed an uncaring culture. Even our work culture has become so threatening instead of fulfilling and enjoyable.

As the ancient ayurvedic physician Charak wrote in 1000 BC: "A happy and contented soul in control of his mind, emotions and five senses is a healthy person."

I was very drawn to the article on prayer and healing by Reverend Kenneth Jinks in the magazine Healing Today, produced by the National Federation of Spiritual Healers.

In it, he says: " Prayer is not a substitute for medical skill . . . what is needed today is a closer co-operation between the doctor and the priest so that together they seek to treat each person who is made up of body, mind and spirit."

Perhaps we need to turn to prayer and healing the inner heart first, to bring us to our senses regarding real health in the community through a renaissance in our business and politics.

My eternal vision is a forum of joint policy makers made up of caring holistic people, doctors, politicians, priests and businessmen in every town, parliament and health authority who meet with the public regularly and involve children.