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The EUROCISS Project



Manuals of Operations for CVD Population-Based Registers and Surveys

S.Giampaoli1, M.Madsen2, N.Hammar3, P.Primatesta4, B.Stegmayr5, P.Ciccarelli1

During the EuroPRevent 2007 Congress it was highlighted that Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and hospitalisation in both genders in nearly all countries of Europe. The annual number of CVD cases is expected to increase within the next few decades, mainly due to a growth in the elderly population. CVD is a costly disease because of the large number of premature deaths, ongoing disability in survivors, impact on families or caregivers and on health services (treatment and rehabilitation). The great burden of CVD contrasts with the shortage, weak quality and comparability of reliable data available. Therefore, there is a pressing need to obtain reliable information on the magnitude and distribution of the disease and to make prevention and treatment a priority in order to reduce the growing health burden, lessen its socio-economic impact and plan appropriate health policies and preventive strategies.

A specialist symposium on the EUROCISS Project entitled ‘The EUROCISS Project: Recommendations for cardiovascular surveillance in Europe’ was held at the Congress. The Manuals of Operations for Population-based Register of Stroke and Acute Myocardial Infarction/Acute Coronary Syndrome and for CVD Surveys, which represent the final and most important result of the project, were presented.
A step-wise surveillance procedure based on standardised data collection, appropriate record linkage and validation methods was set up by the EUROCISS Project (European Cardiovascular Indicators Surveillance Set) in order to build up comparable and reliable indicators (attack rate and case fatality) for the surveillance of CVD at population level.

A population-based register is the best data source for the surveillance of AMI/ACS and stroke morbidity and mortality since it considers both fatal and non-fatal events occurring in-and out-of hospital, thus providing estimates of key indicators such as attack rate and case fatality. Surveys can supplement the information collected from registers with additional details on socio-demographic characteristics, data on risk factors and physical/biological measurements.

The Manuals of Operations are intended for those European countries lacking appropriate surveillance systems but interested in the surveillance of CVD. They recommend starting from a minimum data set and following a step-wise procedure, thus providing a standardised and simple model for the implementation of population-based registers and of CVD surveys.

Notes to editor

1 National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy
2 Institute of Public Health Research, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
3 Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
4 University College London Medical School, London, UK
5 Dept. of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden