Mortality statistics show the stark reality of a high burden of CVD across Europe, with approximately 4 million people dying of these diseases each year. It is also the most common cause of death, resulting in 49% of deaths among women and 41% among men.
“This analysis is a powerful reminder that cardiovascular disease remains Europe’s biggest killer, despite the advances we’ve made in preventing and treating heart conditions through medical research. We can’t be fooled into thinking the battle against heart disease is won” said Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation.
“For women the figures are particularly worrying – almost half of the women in Europe die from heart attacks or strokes. This shows the urgent need to fund more research towards faster, more accurate diagnosis and more effective treatments, alongside work to help prevent people developing heart and circulatory diseases in the first place”, said Gillespie.
“The differences in cardiovascular disease deaths between the European nations are also concerning. Through the European Heart Network, an alliance of heart charities, we are working together to share resources and expertise, while funding research, to help reduce deaths and suffering from this heartless condition across the continent.”
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most common cause of death globally. The 2010 Global Burden of Disease study estimated that CVD caused 15.6 million deaths worldwide, 29.6% of all deaths. This was two times as many deaths as was caused by cancer and was more than all communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional disorders combined.
Nick Townsend, et al. “Cardiovascular disease in Europe – epidemiological update 2015” European Heart Journal, August 2015. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehv428
BHF analysis of latest UK mortality data 2014. ONS, NRS Scotland, NISRA.