Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of mortality in Europe. CVD is responsible for more than 1.8 million deaths in the European Union (EU) annually.
New figures published in The Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2017 Edition indicate that CVD mortality is now decreasing in nearly all-European countries, including those of Central and Eastern Europe.
However, despite the decreases, experts are cautioning that rising obesity and diabetes levels threaten the sustainability of the observed reductions. Furthermore, few adults in European countries are participating in recommended levels of physical activity.
Presenting findings from the Report at a European Parliament debate in Brussels recently, Mairead McGuinness, co-chair of the Members of the European Parliament Heart Group said the increases mean it is “unlikely that the burden of cardiovascular disease, both in terms of human suffering and economic costs, will decrease”.
She added: “Our focus must be on prevention of heart health problems and identifying those at risk from heart disease early on. This requires a firm focus in Member States on health promotion rather than treating problems as they arise. If we could achieve this focus on prevention then there would be reduced suffering for patients and reduced costs for Member States.”