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Prevention and cardiovascular health

Due to demographic changes, people live longer with debilitating cardiovascular disease. Moreover, many people are already disabled by ill health before they reach retirement age.

Greater reduction of exposure to the main behavioural risk factors – tobacco, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol – would increase the number of years lived in good health and would ultimately lead to better social and economic outcomes, with considerable returns on investment.  

Air pollution and cardiovascular disease

WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines

The ESC, together with other societies, supports the bold, new WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines, published on 22 September 2021, and urges nations and the European Union to use them to guide the development of ambitious air quality and emission-reduction policies around the world. Signatories of the joint statement agree that there is ample evidence that air pollution - even at low levels - is a major global public health risk factor and puts an enormous financial burden on societies.


Joint statement against air pollution - the impact on cardiovascular disease

Air pollution is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease and a major contributor to the global burden of disease. Long-term exposure to air pollution has also been linked to an increased risk of death from COVID-19. Find out more about the impact of dirty air on cardiovascular health in a joint statement released by four organisations — the World Heart Federation, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and European Society of Cardiology. 

EU air quality standards

In December 2021, the ESC responded to the EU consultation on revising the current EU air quality standards to bring them more in line with World Health Organization recommendations.


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E-cigarettes and CVD

The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health Risks has warned in a Preliminary Opinion Report that e-cigarettes increase the risk of CVD. The ESC responded to the opinion-related public consultation providing further evidence from the recent EAPC position paper on the cardiovascular effects of e-cigarettes.

World Heart Day


World Heart Day is a global platform that the World Heart Federation (WHF), as well as its members, including the ESC, patient groups and network of supporters, use to raise awareness of the fight against the world's number one killer: cardiovascular disease. The platform is also used to encourage individuals, families, communities and governments to take action to reduce needless morbidity and deaths. World Heart Day takes place each year on 29 September.


Cardiovascular disease prevention website for patients is a website, developed with support from ESC Patient Forum, where patients can find reliable information and practical advice to prevent cardiovascular disease, manage their health more effectively and live longer, more active lives.

EAPC activities

ESC Advocacy works closely with the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC) to provide advice and expertise to policymakers as well as promote evidence-based policy that will contribute to an environment where healthy lifestyles are accessible, affordable, and appealing. Read about the EAPC activities here

Heart Healthy Cities

HHC.jpgHeart Healthy Cities, an integral part of ESC Advocacy, aims to challenge the false perception that CVD is no longer a public health priority and to call for policy actions to address the increasing burden of CVD.

Through the active engagement of scientists and local politicians, Heart Healthy Cities focus on supporting the identification and implementation of effective measures for the promotion of cardiovascular health and creating a healthier living environment. The Heart Healthy Cities is organised during the annual ESC Congress which is attended by more than 30,000 cardiologists and healthcare professionals from all over the world.

More on past Heart Healthy Cities events.