What is it?

The European Society of Cardiology and the European Heart Network, with the support of the European Commission and the World Health Organization – Regional Office for Europe, have developed the first European Heart Health Charter designed to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Europe.

Each year, CVD kills over 4.35 million people in the 53 member states of the World Health Organization European Region and more than 1.9 million in the European Union (EU). It is responsible for 55% of all deaths in women across Europe and 43% of the deaths in men, killing more people than all cancers combined. The cost of CVD on the EU economy is estimated to be approximately 169 billion euros a year.

Yet cardiovascular disease is eminently preventable. The main risk factors are tobacco use, raised blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Other factors include overweight, obesity, diabetes mellitus, excessive alcohol consumption and psychosocial stress.

In 2004, the European Union Council Conclusions, drawn up under the Irish Presidency, called upon the European Commission and EU Member States to ensure that appropriate action be taken to address cardiovascular disease. In 2005, The Luxembourg Declaration further established an agreement among representatives from national Ministries of Health and representatives from European and national Cardiac Societies and Heart Foundations to initiate or strengthen comprehensive prevention plans and to ensure that effective measures, policies and interventions be in place in all European countries to fight CVD.

Building upon this, the European Society of Cardiology and the European Heart Network, along with all signatory organisations, now invite International and European organisations and national governments to adopt the European Heart Health Charter in order to promote cardiovascular health and support the 2000 Valentine's Declaration:

"Every child born in the new millennium has the right to live until the age of at least 65 without suffering from avoidable cardiovascular disease."


Did you know that heart disease is the number 1 killer of EU citizens? Why the charter now?See what others have said about the Hearth Health Charter. Read testimonials


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