Celebrating World Heart Day 2023
29 September is World Heart Day.
Every year, we take this opportunity to bring attention to the world’s leading cause of death: cardiovascular disease. In Europe, millions of people die from cardiovascular disease every year, or live with complications. Genetic conditions, smoking, gender, geography and many other factors play a role when it comes to a person’s cardiovascular health, as well as whether or not they receive the treatment they need. As the European Society of Cardiology, we strive to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease through evidence-based, effective policy. Learning about cardiovascular disease is easy. To help you, we have compiled a list of some of our most useful resources.
To learn more about cardiovascular disease across countries in Europe, you can consult Atlas — our database with statistics for countries across the continent and the Mediterranean basin.
Every two years, we update our database with the newest information, as part of our ongoing effort to inform health experts and enable them to design effective policies aimed at easing the burden of the disease.
MEPs call for action
Officials and lawmakers of the European Union have taken note of the importance of keeping cardiovascular health high on the policy-making agenda. Many members of the European Parliament have joined our fight towards the creation of a unified, solid strategy. By comprehensively addressing the issue through an EU-wide Cardiovascular Health plan, we can allocate these resources towards other essential needs. You can hear from some of our allies in this video.
Millions of Europeans live with cardiovascular health issues. Here, you can listen to the testimonials of two patients, Mattias and Julie, to learn about their journeys.
Mattias Van Heetvelde was born with a congenital heart defect. 25,000 children are born with heart defects in Europe every year. “Luckily for me, I was born in an age where a combination of medicine and surgery could [help me] manage my disease.”
Listen to his testimony.
Julie Harris joined the ESC’s Patient Forum after having a heart attack. “I think a lot of people are under the impression that this mainly affects middle-aged men who are overweight, but there is a large number of females who have heart attacks and they don’t actually recognise the symptoms.”
EU Heart Health Charter
A revised version of the European Heart Health Charter has been published for World Heart Day. The goal of the Charter is to serve as a framework for successful cooperation, on both the national and EU-wide levels, to promote cardiovascular health across all policies.
The charter’s new iteration is a revision of the 2007 document, going beyond health components to financial, geographical and gender considerations of the battle. At its core, it emphasises that a coordinated European strategy for better cardiovascular health is essential if we are to address the burden of this disease.
Read the Charter
Covered at ESC Congress
Cardiovascular disease also has a significant financial impact, costing Europe about 2% of its GDP on a yearly basis. That amount, about €282 billion in 2021, exceeds the entire budget of the EU itself.
Our goal is to reduce the economic burden of cardiovascular disease.
We have recorded some of our congress sessions on this topic: