Brussels, 12, December 2022. Today, cardiovascular health and diabetes was the focus of the expert meeting organized by the Czech Society of Cardiology, in collaboration with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), the European Diabetes Forum and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) CVD network.
Mr Jakub Dvořáček, Czech Deputy Minister of Health, was in attendance as this activity is in line with the strategy of the Czech Society of Cardiology, which has set the ambitious goal of reducing cardiovascular mortality in the Czech Republic by 5% by 2035. As Mr. Dvoracek said, "Because of their magnitude and multiple risk factors, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are often wrongly perceived as lifestyle diseases. We need effective public health interventions across Member States to prevent them and ensure that Cardiovascular Health leads to better human and economic outcomes in the EU.''
This expert conference aimed to complement the EU Commission's Healthier Together Non-Communicable Diseases Roadmap launched in June 2022 and the further elaboration of the EACH Cardiovascular Health Plan for Europe. Both these initiatives highlight strong evidence that supports a focused plan that covers the entire spectrum of cardiovascular health during a patient’s life course, aiming to move care from a point-in-time, intervention-only focus to a more holistic "whole patient" view by improving the accuracy of diagnosis and encouraging appropriate interventions as required.
Cardiovascular disease is not limited to older people, heavily impacting people of all age groups, and diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. 1 in 3 adults live with undiagnosed diabetes and do not receive any treatment, while 20-40% of heart attacks occur in people previously undiagnosed with CVD. Overall, cardiovascular disease is responsible for about 20% of all premature deaths (before the age of 65) in the EU[i] and one in ten adults lives with diabetes. The number of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the EU has almost doubled in the last decade, from about 17 million in 2000 to 32 million in 2019.
There is fundamental misperception of cardiovascular disease and diabetes as they are very often seen as "lifestyle" diseases. "Clearly, major prevention efforts are needed, but we also need bold action by policy makers to address all age groups at risk," said Professor Ales Linhart, President of the Czech Society of Cardiology.