ActivitiesCVD Patients


Who is at risk of developing CVD? 

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

Being diagnosed with CVD or suffering a stroke can be frightening and overwhelming for anyone, including family members. Today, however, with the support of healthcare professionals, cardiac and stroke rehabilitation programmes, appropriate medical treatment and digital technologies, people can continue to live active and productive lives.

For more information, see the EHN’s papers here and read the EHN Charter for European CVD Patients and its Annex.

If you are a person living with CVD and would like to know more about your condition, please contact one of our member organisations. Contact details are available in our EHN Members section.

EHN EU Policy Activity

EHN works on EU policy files related to issues that affect patients with cardiovascular disease including:

Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence

EHN advocates for public investment in programmes and policies that ensure equal access to digital innovations that improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of cardiovascular patients.

Medical Devices

EHN advocates for equal access to vital medical devices for cardiovascular patients across Europe to protect patients’ health and wellbeing and support healthcare systems at large.

EHN Patient Working Group

Almost half of EHN members are patient organisations supporting people living with cardiovascular disease and representing the patient voice at national level. Their combined outreach is over 2 million patients and carers in Europe. Together, we engage in influencing European policies to improve diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for people with cardiovascular disease. We do this by:

  • connecting our members to facilitate networking, sharing information, expertise and best practices
  • supporting our members in their national advocacy efforts
  • representing patients’ interests in European policy platforms
  • enabling and empowering patient engagement in policy and research.

The EHN Patient Working Group meets face-to-face once a year and often virtually. The Group also interacts with the EHN’s Research Platform to ensure that tomorrow’s scientific progress and treatments meet patients’ needs, including in terms of quality of life, without taking the responsibility of patient care away from healthcare professionals.

Representing CVD patients at European level

Since 2008, EHN has been a member of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Patients’ and Consumers’ Working Party (PCWP). The PCWP is a platform where European patient and consumer organisations discuss and advise the EMA on matters of direct or indirect interest to patients in relation to medicines for human use. EHN, on behalf of its members, provides input as needed on relevant EMA-scientific and regulatory discussions.

EHN served as a member of the EMA and Heads of Medicines Agencies (HMA) joint Big Data Steering group from 2020 to 2022. The Steering Group advises the EMA Management Board and HMA on prioritisation and planning actions to implement the ten priority recommendations for the European medicines regulatory network, to make the best use of big data in medicinal innovation and regulation in the European Union.

For more information about the Agency, please consult the EMA website.

Linking patients with the research and medical communities 

In addition to working closely with EHN’s Research Platform, EHN and its members carry patient needs and preferences forward in EU-funded projects. EHN facilitates active patient engagement in EU-funded cardiovascular research and innovation projects. Click here to learn more about EHN’s current and completed EU-funded projects.