“EU citizens must be aware of the risk of CVD’s. On their side, policymakers must make a difference by adopting heart healthy legislation and making sure that CVD are given the appropriate attention on the policy agenda,” says Labour MEP Prof Edward Scicluna.
Labour MEP Prof Edward Scicluna is one of a group of MEPs who are joining forces on World Heart Day (WHD) today to inform EU citizens and policymakers that diseases of the heart and circulatory system (cardiovascular disease or CVD) are the main cause of death in the European Union (EU) claiming 5,000 lives each day.
CVD remains the leading cause of death in Europe. By 2030, 20 000 Maltese and 72 million Europeans will be dead due to a medical condition linked to the heart and circulatory system. Yet, up to 80% of premature CVD deaths are preventable through prevention policies and early management of risk factors.
The MEP WHD awareness raising campaign, promoted by the MEP Heart Group, comes as a major new report is published on the state of CVD in the EU. The eagerly awaited 2012 Cardiovascular Disease Statistics contains the most up to date statistics on CVD in Europe and is being launched today. The data shows that efforts to reduce deaths from CVD have been successful.
“In times of economic crisis, EU countries may not be able to afford the rising costs from CVD. However, healthcare should never be seen as an economic burden, but rather as a value added and a driver for growth” said Prof. Scicluna.
Overall CVD is estimated to cost the EU economy €196 billion a year, up from €192 billion in 2008. Malta alone is spending €74 million yearly to cover costs generated by CVD. Around 54% is due to health care costs, 24% is due to productivity losses and 22% is due to the informal care of people with CVD.
Prof Scicluna concluded: “Efforts to tackle CVD in the EU are producing positive results but the fact that it remains the top cause of death in Europe means that more needs to be done. As MEPs, we have an opportunity to encourage a healthy lifestyle and exercise and help in curbing the burden of tobacco use for instance by ensuring strong pictorial health warnings in the upcoming revision of the tobacco products directive.”
– Saturday, 29th September,2012