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European Society of Cardiology responds to new WHO Europe action plan for noncommunicable diseases

Strengths and weaknesses

Epidemiology
Prevention
Public Health & Health Policy


Press statement

Sophia Antipolis, 15 September 2016: The ESC welcomes and endorses the new Action Plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in the WHO European Region adopted today by WHO’s Regional Committee for Europe.

The Action Plan updates priority actions and interventions to reduce premature mortality, reduce disease burden, improve quality of life and make healthy life expectancy more equitable.

“The action plan is a key milestone for the promotion and maintenance of NCDs as a priority on the European policy agenda,” said Prof Ian Graham, WHO liaison and Secretary Treasurer of the ESC. “It clearly identifies cardiovascular disease (CVD) as the leading cause of death in Europe and outlines specific recommendations consistent with ESC's mission to reduce the burden of CVD. The ESC supports WHO’s ongoing efforts to promote better healthcare within the European area and will continue to drive change in line with its recommendations. We also propose stronger actions in some areas which have a direct impact on the incidence and prevalence of CVD and patient outcomes.”

In particular:

-NCD risk factor surveillance is poorly coordinated throughout Europe, in part, because of the lack of any coordinated legal framework for health. The ESC endorses the WHO STEP surveillance model and promotes its wider adoption

-In addition to surveillance, the ESC has expertise in auditing the recording and management of NCD risk factors at the European level and would welcome the opportunity to share this competence with WHO

-The ESC believes that greater emphasis should be placed on quality assurance to achieve sustainable, high-quality and cost-effective healthcare

-The ESC endorses strengthening the capacity of primary healthcare to prevent, assess and manage cardio-metabolic risk, including clinical guidelines, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation. It believes that more specific recommendations would be helpful. Cardiometabolic risk assessment and management are areas in which the ESC has special competence and would welcome the opportunity to share this with WHO

-Adoption of the “chain of survival” is variable throughout European member states and the ESC is eager to work with WHO in developing this area, both at the clinical level and through its increasing interest in patient engagement

The European Society of Cardiology is keen to develop synergies between the ESC and WHO. Prof. Peter Kearney, Chair of the ESC Advocacy Committee, said: “Evidence can be unclear for policymakers and the ESC is committed to ensuring that the latest data, findings and priorities in CVD are accessible, by providing clear scientific and policy recommendations and advocating for better communications between the scientific community and policymakers.”

ENDS

Notes to editor

ESC Press Office
Tel: +33 (0)4 89 87 24 83
Email: press@escardio.org

About the European Society of Cardiology

The ESC brings together health care professionals from more than 120 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people to live longer, healthier lives.

About WHO Europe new action plan for noncommunicable diseases: www.euro.who.int