European Heart Health Charter

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 2.0 million in the European Union (EU). It is responsible for 54% 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 192 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."

The aim of the European Heart Health Charter is to substantially reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in the European Union and the WHO European Region and to reduce inequities and inequalities in disease burden within and between countries.

The European Heart Health Charter was launched at EU level on 12 June 2007.  Subsequent launches followed in 28 countries in Europe.  For more information on the launches of the charter, please use this link.

More information on the European Heart Health Charter can be found on www.heartcharter.eu

You can find the European Heart Health Charter here.