Launched today at the European Parliament in Brussels in the presence of EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou and Dr Nata Menabde, Deputy Regional Director of WHO Europe, the Charter is an impressive EU-wide policy document on cardiovascular disease prevention. It is signed by 14 eminent professional and public health organisations and will change the way Europe tackles CVD.
Governments, NGOs and health organisations that sign the charter commit to reduce considerably the burden of CVD in Europe (reducing the numbers of smokers, promoting healthy food choices and physical activity, reducing obesity rates and implementing best practices in cardiovascular care). They pledge to launch public information campaigns and to work towards implementing public policy that improves cardiovascular health, such as promoting exercise in schools and smoking bans. All signatories agree to strive for equity in treatment within their country and across Europe.
EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said: "The European Commission is very pleased to have been able to play a part in bringing the Charter into being. If we are going to beat cardiovascular disease we need to redouble our efforts. We need concerted action by governments together with the health sector, with business and with NGOs and –most importantly- with citizens".
The Charter provides national governments, NGOs and health organisations with a series of tools, including HeartScore, that will help them highlight the dangers of heart disease and create awareness amongst the general population. This can all be found on a dedicated web site (www.heartcharter.eu), which contains information about how the Charter is being implemented and aims to be a platform for exchange and successful interventions. It hosts also translations of the charter in 18 languages and examples of print and television advertisements that can be adapted for different markets.
European Heart Network Director Susanne Løgstrup said she firmly believes the Charter will improve the health of Europeans.
“It is my view, that the European Heart Health Charter will bring a new dynamic to the way in which the EU – and indeed European - health policy is developed and implemented,” she said. “I am confident that with the support of the European Commission, WHO European Region and with the commitment and skill provided by the signatories, representing leading European health organisations and professional societies, in 10 years time Europe will be a healthier place with a healthier population. And that is good for everybody.”
European Society of Cardiology Past President and Co-Chair of the Charter Steering Committee Lars Rydén believes the Charter’s emphasis on prevention will help reduce the burden of CVD across Europe.
“Until recently the focus of attention has been on treatment. This means extending the lives of people already affected and society has ended up accumulating a mountain of people who are ill,” he said. “What we have to concentrate on now is prevention, which is the goal of the Charter. We cannot continue to create a society that makes people ill, and then invest a lot of money in curing them.”
The Charter encourages participants to pay attention to gender-specific aspects of cardiovascular health and disease, and will have a specific goal of educating and supporting the younger population so they will practice heart-healthy activities throughout their lives. The Charter calls for research on the effectiveness of policy and preventive interventions, including aspects of health care expenditures as well as for epidemiological and behavioural research to determine the factors that affect the heart. Special attention will be given to the young, and towards understanding the mechanisms of ageing in the cardiovascular system.
“The Charter on CVD in Europe has the full support of both WHO and the European Commission,” said Dr. Jill Farrington, Noncommunicable Disease Coordinator of WHO Regional Office for Europe. “It provides a clear message that WHO and the European Commission are working hand in hand with cardiologists from the ESC and public organisations from EHN to form a strong, visible alliance against Europe’s greatest killer.”
It is imperative that politicians create policies that support prevention of CVD. A primary goal of the Charter is to improve our lifestyles. Better use of available treatment is also mandatory among those already afflicted by CVD.
“Changing lifestyle is not a matter of the individual alone. For people to change their lifestyle, they need supportive environments. All EU policy areas need to work in concert to create these healthier environments for all European citizens,” said Dr. Georgs Andrejevs, member of the European Parliament. “Inequalities in mortality CVD do not only occur between countries, but also within countries. Inequalities in mortality from CVD account for almost half of the excess mortality in lower socio-economic groups in most countries. Examples of inequalities can be given in the field of obesity, availability of healthy food and smoking. The Charter addresses these issues.”
“The Charter is ultimately an initiative to change European law,” said Professor John Martin, Co-Chair of the ESC Committee for European Union Relations. “If you believe that Europe has a future by giving up sovereignty to the greater good then this is one way of manifesting it – the most concrete way of doing that.”
ESC Press Office | alfa
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences