Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The human and economic cost of heart disease in Europe

26.02.2008
New figures published by the European Society of Cardiology1 and the European Heart Network2 this month, highlighted the significant differences in cardiovascular disease across Europe.

One fact, nevertheless, remains the same: cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main cause of death in the European Union, killing over 2 million people per year. CVD costs the EU economy over 192 billion Euros annually. Many of these deaths could be averted with proper prevention policies.

These new statistics will be the main focus of the meeting of the Members of the European Parliament Heart Group which will take place in Brussels today, 26 February 2008.

“These latest figures show that cardiovascular disease is a critical health problem for Europe and must be taken seriously. High risk countries should take urgent steps to implement measures to reduce the burden of CVD. The elevated mortality rates in some European countries are also unacceptable from both a human and economical point of view” declared Dr Andrejevs co-chair of the MEP Heart Group.

Aware of this critical health problem, members of the European Parliament voted with an overwhelming majority a Resolution on action to tackle cardiovascular disease on 12 July 2007. Last October, the MEP Heart Group was officially created. The group works together with the European Heart Network3and the European Society of Cardiology4 to gather and exchange information on cardiovascular health and to stimulate initiatives across Europe on cardiovascular disease prevention.

EHN statistics show that CVD costs European economy 192 billion Euros a year, which results in a per capita cost of 391 Euros. 57% of this is directly linked to health care, 21% to productivity losses and 22 % to the cost of informal care provided by relatives and friends. “Premature death and suffering from CVD is largely avoidable, declared Ms Susanne Logstrup from the European Heart Network. These recent studies show how many western European countries have managed to reduce mortality linked to CVD. It is the duty of the EU to extend these successful policies to all Member States”. As Dr William Wijns, chair of the ESC Committee for European Relations underlines: “to those who think prevention is expensive, I say ... try disease!”

Researchers found that mortality rates due to CVD were high in some Mediterranean countries such a Greece, Portugal and regions in southern Spain and Italy. They also found that many countries had changed from being high to low risk and that current classifications did not take into account the considerable regional variations. These disparities are associated with differences in diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity, the quality of medical care and environmental factors. Western European countries show a trend towards lower mortality rates linked to CVD. Finland appears to be an example of how public health interventions can make a big difference to reduce death caused by heart disease.

Several projects are already underway aiming to provide Member States with adequate tools to help reduce the burden of CVD. These include the European Heart Health Charter5; the EuroHeart Project6 and the revised European Guidelines on CVD prevention in clinical practice7¬. The challenge for Member States today is to implement all these recommendations taking into account local economic and cultural realities. Statistics have confirmed the alarming cost of not doing so.

“As a cardiologist, says Dr William Wijns of the European Society of Cardiology, I am confronted every day with the terrible consequences of heart disease. People who normally wouldn’t consider themselves as risk takers, nevertheless take daily risks by smoking or eating unhealthily. As specialists we get to see people as patients, when the damage is done. To see Members of the European Parliament actually focus on Cardiovascular health is extremely important for the ESC as they can help Europe take further action, in particular in the field of prevention, by educating populations and by providing supportive environments helping people to choose a healthy lifestyle.”

1. European Heart Journal, flagship journal of the European Society of Cardiology. For full report go to: http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/eurheartj/press_releases/freepdf/ehm604.pdf
2. European Heart Network (2008) European cardiovascular disease statistics 2008. Brussels. European Heart Network. For the full report go to: http://www.ehnheart.org (statistics)
3. The European Heart Network (EHN) is a Brussels based alliance of 31 heart foundations and likeminded nongovernmental organisations throughout Europe, with member organisations in 26 countries, see www.ehnheart.org
4. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 50,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. The ESC comprises 4 Councils for Cardiology Practice, 5 Associations, 19 Working Groups and 50 National Cardiac Societies Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe, see www.escardio.org
5. www.heartcharter.eu
6. http://www.escardio.org/initiatives/EuroHeart/ 7. http://www.escardio.org/knowledge/guidelines/Guidelines_list.htm?hit=pna

Jacqueline Partarrieu | alfa
Further information:
http://www.escardio.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes

17.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Electronic stickers to streamline large-scale 'internet of things'

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

Behavior-influencing policies are critical for mass market success of low carbon vehicles

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>