Sophia Antipolis, 26 May 2016: “So many people in Europe dying of heart disease, prematurely and unnecessarily, is a tragedy,” said Prof. Fausto Pinto, President of the European Society of Cardiology.
New mortality data released this week show that during 2013, 184,000 fatal heart attacks in Europe and 94,000 fatal strokes could be considered premature and could have been avoided in light of current medical knowledge. Together, they accounted for almost half (48%) of all preventable deaths in people under the age of seventy five.
The results, provided by Eurostat, the national statistical office of the European Union, is the most recent evidence yet that too many people are not getting the timely and effective health care they need.
“We know how to save lives,” said Prof. Pinto. “Part of the problem is lack of proper investment in cardiovascular health care and management of that funding. This limits medical professionals’ access to new devices and procedures, which in the long term, give people more full and active lives and ultimately are less costly in the future.
The ESC President said that insufficient funds for training and education are another major issue. “Too many hospitals and clinics lack the number of medical staff required to provide great cardiac care,” he added. “The recent mortality data should serve as a wakeup call for governments and hospitals.
“Cardiovascular disease needs to be made number one priority by policy makers for both prevention and treatment, so that many lives can be saved.”