The European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health welcomes the EPP’s call for a ‘European Cardiovascular Health Plan’

Brussels 14 March 2024: The European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health (EACH) welcomes the recent announcement by the European People’s Party to include a ‘European Cardiovascular Health Plan’ as a core component of their electoral manifesto.

We are launching a European Cardiovascular Health Plan because we know that cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the EU. This plan should include a European Knowledge Centre and promote a joint cardiovascular and diabetes health check.” EPP Manifesto

This historic step answers the urgent need for comprehensive action to address Europe’s health crisis and tackle its leading cause of death – cardiovascular disease which costs the EU €282 bn every year. The long-term mission to achieve a healthier Europe, was the reason why the European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health (EACH) was created in 2021 as a coalition of patients, healthcare professionals, researchers and health industry representatives.

The inclusion of cardiovascular health in the EU electoral manifesto comes after two years of effort by EACH partners to advocate for a comprehensive EU policy response. In December 2023, the EACH exhibition “Vote Cardiovascular Health 2024” took place in the European Parliament. The exhibition showcased CVD figures from EU Member States and gathered over 100 MEPs from 20 countries, who pledged action at both EU and national level.

The EACH Alliance  “Cardiovascular Health Plan for Europe” launched in May 2022 aims to:

  • reduce premature and preventable deaths in Europe by one third in 2030,
  • improve access for all to high quality cardiovascular risk assessments,
  • set multi-disciplinary care pathways and pave the way for greater quality of life.

To achieve this, focus will need to be on primary prevention at population level, improvements in secondary prevention through timely detection, equal access to high quality patient-centred healthcare and an increased uptake of rehabilitation.

More specifically, we are delighted to see EPP calling for the European Knowledge Centre and European Cardiovascular Health Check as both are an integral part of the EACH proposed Vision.

A European Cardiovascular Health Data Knowledge initiative aligns with the European Health Data Space to establish a unified system for cardiovascular data. By integrating various sources of information, including registries and patient-generated data, this effort aims to enhance connectivity, promote collaboration across borders, and facilitate research and innovation in cardiovascular health. Similarly implementing European Cardiovascular Health Checks for common risk factors (including albuminuria, age, high BMI, high blood pressure, tobacco use, high blood glucose, high LDL, LP(a)), and with due consideration to gender differences, can help diagnose early and save healthcare costs.

EACH strongly supports the EPP manifesto and the commitment by the upcoming Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the EU to prioritise cardiovascular health. We urge the European Commission to take on board the proposal for an EU Cardiovascular Health Plan to ensure that all European citizens live longer, healthier lives – regardless of their gender, or where they were born or live in the EU.

EACH believes that a dedicated Cardiovascular Health Plan that covers the full spectrum of cardiovascular health during a person’s entire life, can alleviate the burden of the CVD on millions of people. It will also benefit societies and economies and will have a trickle-down effect engaging the whole cardiovascular health community with the creation of national CVH plans that are tailored to national contexts and needs.

“In addition to awakening the political will to tackle this serious health challenge, we need a paradigm shift in how the stakeholders are currently engaging. All stakeholders need to engage (…) to tackle cardiovascular health (…) in ways they have never done before.” EACH Patient Representative