• EHN Patient Activities

  • January 08th 2018
  • Cardiovascular diseases 


    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation including coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke. It's also known as heart and circulatory diseases. CVD is the most prevalent disease in Europe: in 2015, more than 85 million people were living with CVD, almost 49 million people in the EU alone (for more data on CVD please consult the section on “CVD Statistics”). 


    Who is at risk of developing CVD? 


    Everyone is at risk of developing CVD. CVD can be caused by non-modifiable risk factors such as genetic make-up, age and gender of the individual, as well as other medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Behavioural factors including poor diet, smoking, stress and lack of physical activity also play a significant role in increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. 


    Being diagnosed with a heart disease or suffering a stroke can be frightening and overwhelming for any person and family. However, today, with healthcare professional support and cardiac and stroke rehabilitation programmes, people can continue to live active and productive heat healthy lives. Please consult EHN’s paper on Cardiac and Stroke Rehabilitation on the “Papers” page as well as the EHN Charter for European CVD Patients on the “Charter” page. 


    If you are a person living with a cardiovascular disease and would like to know more about your condition, please contact one of our member organisations; you will find their contact details in the “Members” section.


    EHN Patient Working Group


    Many of EHN’s members work actively to support people living with cardiovascular diseases as well as fund research which outcomes benefit patients. EHN facilitates networking and promotes exchange of best practices amongst its members and supports them in their advocacy efforts to elevate the patient voice. Together, the EHN patients’ organisations share research information, expertise and formulate positions on EU policies that affect patients. 


    The Group meets once a year but in addition regular liaison takes place throughout the year via email and other means. 


    Representing CVD patients at European level


    EHN is a member of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Patients' and Consumers' Working Party (PCWP), a platform where European patient groups meet to discuss key issues of relevance to patients as well as provide the EMA with recommendations and the patient perspective on all relevant issues. EHN patient member organisations provide input as needed on relevant EMA-scientific and regulatory discussions. For more information about the PCWP and the Agency, please consult the EMA website


    Linking patients with the research and medical communities 


    EHN aims to place greater emphasis on linking patients with research and medical communities to ensure that tomorrow’s scientific progress and treatments capture the patients’ expertise as much as possible and reflect their needs, including in terms of quality of life, without taking away the responsibility from healthcare professionals. 


    In addition to working closely with its research-funding members, EHN and its members bring forward patient needs and preferences in two EU-funded projects: HeartMan (funded by Horizon 2020) and BigData@Heart (IMI 2 initiative). For more information on these projects please consult the “Projects” section. 


    Furthermore, EHN has a longstanding working relationship with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), which represents the healthcare professionals in the field of cardiology. EHN runs the Secretariat of the MEP Heart Group jointly with the ESC and both organisations are consortium partners in the IMI BigData@Heart.