Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. In this study in Italy, we are provided with insights into how trends in cardiovascular disease burden between 1990 and 2017 have changed.
A decrease in age-standardised values of prevalence, mortality rate and disability-adjusted life years was seen, however the all-age prevalence of cardiovascular disease was found to be increased. Cardiovascular disease, and in particular ischaemic heart disease, remains the biggest killer. The findings suggest that whilst improvements in cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment may result in reduced mortality and morbidity, an ageing and increasing population is still likely to pose a very high burden of cardiovascular disease.
With results comparable to other European countries and given that the majority of cardiovascular risk factors are modifiable, this study emphasises the importance of public health policies aimed at targeting and improving these modifiable risk factors for the general population.
Note: The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology