“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, the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) voted 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.
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.
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.
MEDICA.de; Source: European Society of Cardiology