Urging a cardiovascular health plan for Europe’s biggest killer

A grouping of 18 partners, including Global Heart Hub, under the umbrella European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health (EACH) call for an EU policy response to the most pervasive health threat in Europe: cardiovascular disease (CVD). “Vote Cardiovascular Health 2024” is an exhibition 11-14 December highlighting the state of cardiovascular health, costs, and investments in the EU’s 27 countries. It is the centre stage from which EACH calls for cardiovascular health to be high on the policy agenda of the European Parliament when MEPs gather in Strasbourg this December.

The exhibition is complemented by a social media campaign that calls on leaders to #VoteHealth2024. And for a reason that is alarming: CVD tops the killer leaderboard, causing more than one-third of all deaths in the EU and impacting the lives of some 60 million people. CVD cost the EU an estimated €282 billion in 2021. Cardiovascular and related long-term care accounted for €155 billion (55%) of these costs, equalling 11% of EU health expenditure.

The exhibition will be hosted by MEP Elżbieta Łukacijewska (PL, EPP) and MEP Radka Maxová (CZ, S&D), long-time supporters of cardiovascular health in the EU. The current trio Presidency (Spain-Belgium-Hungary) is addressing cardiovascular disease for the first time in the EU’s 30-year history, showing leadership on a health crisis that afflicts the whole world. What is needed now is an EU Cardiovascular Health Plan and 27 National Action Plans on CV Health.

Cardiovascular disease strikes regardless of age, gender, or income. Burning issues of the day will be ‘top of agenda’ in Strasbourg and EACH is urging cardiovascular health to be among them. MEPs have received a briefing note about the exhibition and will be invited to pledge for an EU-wide response to ensure better cardiovascular health for all their citizens. In addition, MEPs will be interviewed on future health policy that impacts the daily lives of people throughout the continent.