• EHN Patient Activities

  • June 17th 2019
  • Cardiovascular diseases 


    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation including, notably, coronary heart disease and stroke. It is also known as heart and circulatory disease. CVD is the most prevalent disease in Europe: in 2015, more than 85 million people were living with CVD, of whom almost 49 million in the EU. For more data on CVD please click 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 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 a heart disease or suffering a stroke can be frightening and overwhelming for anyone, including family members. However, today, 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.

    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. EHN facilitates networking, sharing information, expertise and best practices amongst its members. We also support our members in their advocacy efforts to elevate the patient voice. Together, we engage in influencing EU policies that affect people with cardiovascular diseases.

    The Group meets once a year but in addition, regular liaison takes place throughout the year, via email and other means. The Group also interacts with the EHN’s Research Platform to ensure that tomorrow’s scientific progress and treatments capture the patients’ needs, including in terms of quality of life, without taking away the responsibility 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), a platform where European patient groups meet to discuss key issues of relevance to patients, as well as providing the EMA with recommendations, and the patient perspective on all relevant issues. EHN, on behalf of its members, provides 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 


    In addition to working closely with EHN’s Research Platform, EHN and its members bring forward patient needs and preferences in EU-funded projects. Click here for information on EU-funded projects that EHN has been involved in.