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Fact Sheets for Press

CVD in Europe and ESC Congress figures

About Cardiovascular Disease in ESC Member Countries

2019 Statistics


The 2019 report from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Atlas provides a contemporary analysis of cardiovascular disease (CVD) statistics across 56 member countries, with particular emphasis on international inequalities in disease burden and healthcare delivery together with estimates of progress towards meeting 2025 World Health Organization (WHO) non-communicable disease targets.

Currently, there are more than 6 million new cases of CVD in the EU and more than 11 million in Europe as a whole, every year. With almost 49 million people living with the disease in the EU, the cost to the EU economies is high at €210 billion a year.

  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain the leading cause of mortality and a major cause of morbidity in Europe. However, statistics indicate that CVD mortality is now decreasing in nearly all European countries, including those of Central and Eastern Europe, which saw substantial increases until the beginning of the 21st century
  • Currently, there are more than 6 million new cases of CVD in the EU and more than 11 million in Europe as a whole, every year.
  • Smoking, alcohol consumption and levels of mean blood cholesterol are still the main CVD risk factors. But, the levels of other factors, such as the prevalence of overweight/obesity and diabetes, have increased considerably in recent decades.
  • Despite sustained declines in CVD mortality in many countries across Europe, CVDs have remained the most common cause of death within the region. In some individual countries, however, improvements in CVD prevention and treatment have led to cancer becoming the most common cause of death


  • Each year cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 3.9 million deaths in Europe and over 1.8 million deaths in the European Union (1)
  • CVD causes 45% of all deaths in Europe and 37% in the EU  (1)
  • CVD is the main cause of death in men in all but 12 countries of Europe and is the main cause of death in women in all but two countries (1)
  • CVD by itself is the leading cause of mortality under 65 years in Europe
  • 15% of CVD deaths in Europe are due to high blood sugar
  • Overall CVD is estimated to cost the European Union economy 210€ billion a year (1)
  • Of the total cost of CVD in the EU, around 53% (111€ billion) is due to health care costs, 26% (€54 billion) due to productivity losses and 21% (€45 billion) due to informal care of people with CVD (1)
  • Death rates from both ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke are generally higher in Central and Eastern Europe than in Northern, Southern and Western Europe (1)
  • CVD mortality is now falling in most European countries, including Central and Eastern European countries, which saw considerable increases until the beginning of the 21st century (1)
  • Smoking remains a key public health issue in Europe. Smoking rates have decreased across much of Europe, although the pace of decline has slowed and rates remain stable or are rising in some countries, particularly among women (1)
  • Women are now smoking nearly as much as men in several Northern and Western European countries and girls often smoke more than boys (1)
  • Fruit and vegetable consumption has increased overall across Europe in recent decades, while consumption of fat and energy has remained relatively stable in the EU (1)
  • Few adults in European countries participate in adequate levels of physical activity, with inactivity more common among women than men (1)
  • Levels of obesity are high across Europe and in the EU in both adults and children, although rates vary substantially between countries (1)
  • The prevalence of diabetes in Europe is high and has increased rapidly over the last ten years, growing by more than 50% in many countries (1)
  • The median age-standardized prevalence of elevated blood pressure in middle-income countries was 23.8% compared with 15.7% in high-income countries.
  • Cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol, is a major determinant of CVD risk which increases linearly as blood concentrations increase (2).
  • The prevalence of hypertension in all the ESC member countries with data available in 2015 was lower in females than in males with median rates of 22.3% and 27% (2)
  • The prevalence of elevated total cholesterol exceeds 50% in high-income countries including Europe, compared with less than 30% in Africa and South East Asia
  • Cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of death within ESC member countries, accounting for 2.2 million deaths in females and 1.9 million deaths in males (2)
  • CVD deaths across ESC member countries far exceed the number of cancer deaths for both sexes (females 887 688, males 1.1 million), although cancer now causes more deaths than CVD in certain high-income countries (2


(2) European Society of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2019:


Past ESC Congress figures

Host country, year Delegates Press Exhibitors Total Participants
Paris 2019 27,946 410 5,154 33,510
Munich 2018 27,151 512 5,195 32,858
Barcelona 2017 26,857 555 4,848 31,705
Rome 2016 27,369 605  5,156 33,130
London 2015 27,208 594  4,956 32,758
Barcelona 2014 24,622 721 4,987 30,330
Amsterdam 2013 24,561 546 4,883 29,990
Munich 2012 22,440 629 5,210 27,279
Paris 2011 26,355 725 5,277  32,897 
Stockholm 2010 21,424 559 4,947 27,496
Barcelona 2009 24,311 745 5,656 31,323
Munich 2008 22,886 719 6,068 30,380
Vienna 2007 22,527 564 5,631 29,423 
Barcelona 2006 24,776 725 6,120 32,544
Stockholm 2005 17,685 557 5,017 23,851
Munich 2004 18,413 636 4,715 24,527
Vienna 2003  18,932 642 5,000 25,463
Berlin 2002 19,342  584 4,950  25,610 
Stockholm 2001 16,025 427 4,400 21,516