In an unprecedented effort to bring prevention of chronic diseases to the top of the EU agenda, the MEP Heart Group , the MEP Group for Kidney Health , the EU Diabetes Working Group and MEPs Against Cancer organise a joint meeting today in the European Parliament, together with representatives of health professionals and health activists at European level.
"If we don't address these chronic diseases urgently, they threaten the "Europe 2020 strategy", especially the goal to have 75% of the working population employed and productive" says Linda McAvan, MEP and co-chair of the MEP Heart Group. Most of these chronic diseases are treatable but not curable, which explains why they generate an enormous financial burden due to treatment and care costs and loss of economic productivity.
"Chronic diseases are largely preventable and in this respect the European Parliament has a major role to play" says Frieda Brepoels, chair of the MEP Group for Kidney Health.
In a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting, MEPs call upon the competent authorities in the member states to urgently develop and improve policies aiming at tackling chronic diseases. "A higher investment in prevention is needed", continues Frieda Brepoels, "in particular by raising awareness about common risk factors and promoting healthy lifestyles".
Four major health determinants - tobacco, poor diet, alcohol and lack of physical activity - account for most chronic illness and death in Europe. Addressing chronic diseases will allow Europeans to live longer and healthier lives, stay longer in the workforce and contribute to reversing the alarming negative labour force growth which is predicted for 2020.
High tobacco and alcohol taxes, smoke free environment, good nutrition labelling which helps consumers make healthy choices and measures to prioritise the needs of pedestrians and cyclists over those of motorists in urban areas are but some of the few meas
|Contact: ESC Press Office|
European Society of Cardiology