PART II - HEALTH CONDITIONS
5. HEALTH IMPACTS OF NON COMMUNICABLE DISEASES AND RELATED TIME-TRENDS
5.2. Cardiovascular diseases
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Diseases of the circulatory system (ICD 9: 390-459)
consist of ischemic heart diseases including myocardial infarction (ICD 9:
410-414), and other diseases (ICD 9: 390-409 and 415-459), including cerebral
stroke (ICD 9: 430-438).
The most frequent forms of CVD are those of
atherosclerotic origin such as ischemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke.
Ischemic heart disease and stroke, are the main killers in both genders and all
ages, accounting for 42% of all cases of death in the EU. In the EU, one in six
men and one in seven women currently die from ischemic heart disease (IHD) and
one in ten men and one in eight women die from stroke.
disease (CVD) accounts for almost half of all deaths causing over 4,30 million
deaths each year in Europe and more than 2.0 million deaths each year within
the European Union (EU) (Allender et al, 2008). CVD is also a major cause of
disability and reduced quality of life.
Although EU is experiencing declining rates of
mortality from CVD, there is an increasing number of men and women living with
CVD. This paradox relates to an increased longevity and an improved survival of
patients with CVD.
The burden of
CVD is killing more people than all cancers combined with a higher percentage
of women (54% of all-cause mortality) than men (43% of all-cause mortality)
(2733 Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council Meeting –
Luxembourg – 1 and 2 June 2006; Allender et al, 2008) and a higher mortality in
the lower socio-economic class.
IHD is the
leading cause of mortality in EU, accounting for over 741,000 deaths every year
(one in six men and over one in seven women). It is also one of the greatest
contributors to health expenditures. Stroke is the second leading cause of
death in the EU accounting for 508,000 deaths each year: around one in ten men
and one in eight women die from this disease; many more suffer from non-fatal
events (Allender et al, 2008; Petersen et al, 2005).
clinical onset is mainly acute, CVD often evolves gradually, causing
substantial loss of quality of life, disability, and life long dependence on
health services and medications. The costs for our society are huge and are not
only directly related to health care and social services, but are also linked
to illness benefits and retirement, impact on families and caregivers and the
loss of years of productive life.
European countries CVD mortality has declined since the mid 70s, but in Eastern
Europe mortality has remained stable or has slightly increased (Kesteloot et
al, 2006). Despite the decline in mortality, the annual number of CVD is
expected to increase within the next few decades, mainly due to a growth in the
elderly population, which will lead to an increase in the health burden of CVD
and consequent increase in economic costs. Therefore, across Europe there is a
pressing need to cope with costs increase and make CVD prevention and treatment
a priority to reduce the growing health burden and lessen its socio-economic