CV burden and huge inequalities among European countries
The EU ranks very high in terms of wealth per person compared to the rest of the world , with a consequent high quality of life and life expectancy. However, the EU is faced with increasing rates of obesity and diabetes II, cardiovascular disease risk factors, which affect both younger EU citizens (often leading an unhealthy lifestyle) and the more fragile elderly population. This greatly impacts Europe's well-being as Member States are called to deal with an unhealthy workforce and rising health care costs .
Mortality rates are falling in most (but not all) countries, according to findings released by the EuroHeart mapping project.(5) However, this detailed research, , also reveals huge inequalities among countries both in the rate of cardiovascular mortality and in national prevention programmes. The research highlights striking inequalities among countries in terms of CHD prevention policies and legislation.
World Heart Day acts as a milestone to remind the EU that CVD can be managed through appropriate policies
The EU Commissioner for Health, Androulla Vassiliou, welcomes the work of stakeholders : "The European Heart Network and the European Society of Cardiology are our key partners in our aim of alleviating the burden of cardiovascular diseases in Europe" and recognises " the valuable work of the European Parliament and the MEP Heart Group in this area. I am sure that the incoming European Commission will want to build on its collaboration with the new European Parliament on this important issue", she says.
Mr Dirk Sterckx, Belgian MEP and co-chair of the MEP Heart Group supports this action, saying: "Nobody can deny that cardiovascular diseases present a very heavy burden in all EU member states. On the occasion of the World Heart Day, I strongly invite my fellow MEPs to make a statement in favour of heart health by joining the MEP Heart Group."
Linda McAvan UK MEP, co-chair of the MEP HG, is also in favour, saying: "I am very proud to co-chair the MEP Heart Group this term. The EP has a role to play in making cardiovascular health a priority in Europe."
The Director of the European Heart Network, Susanne Logstrup adds her voice, saying: "World Heart Day is a prompt to all that there is no room for complacency when it comes to CVD prevention."
Professor Roberto Ferrari, President of the European Society of Cardiology, joins Ms Logstrup in "calling upon the newly elected MEPs to take up the baton the European Parliament resolution of 12 July 2007 on action to tackle cardiovascular disease reminding the European Commission of the need for a concrete European strategy on prevention of cardiovascular diseases".
|Contact: ESC Press Office|
European Society of Cardiology