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World Heart Day resonates with recent experts' findings on CVD and EU institutions' determination to promote heart health
Date:9/24/2009

  • Despite the decline of heart disease mortality registered in the past 30 years, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the N.1 killer in Europe and in the World [1].

  • In the EU, experts reveal that striking disparities still exist between countries not only in terms of CVD incidence, but also with regard to national prevention policies. In view of this, there is a clear case for EU to step up action to tackle heart disease and stroke.

  • The message coincides with World Heart Day, which will take place on Sunday 27 September to inform people around the globe that 80% of premature deaths due to heart disease and stroke can be avoided [2].

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 [3], 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 [4].

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.

  • All countries reported some type of legislation covering public health, tobacco control and food. However, Denmark and Greece do not have national policies relating specifically to coronary heart disease.

  • Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy and
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
339-294-8627
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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