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CVD is killer number one Each year, cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills over 4.3 million people in the 53 member states of the World Health Organization European Region and more than 2 million in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU). CVD 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 main forms of CVDare coronary heart disease(CHD) and stroke: •

Just under half of all deaths from cardiovascular disease are from coronary heart disease. CHDaccounts from 1.92 million deaths in Europe and for over 741 000 deaths in the EU each year. In the EU, around one in six men (16%) and over one in seven women (15%)die from CHD. CHDremains the leading cause of mortality in men over 45 years, and in women over 65 years throughout Europe.

Nearly a third of all deaths in Europe are from stroke. It is the second single most common cause of death in Europe, accounting for 1.24 million deaths each year. Over one in six women (17%)and one in ten men (11%) die from the disease.

CVD in European countries •

CVD is the main cause of death in women in all countries of Europe and is the main causeof death in men in all countries except France, the Netherlands and Spain.

CVD causes more than 50% of deaths in women in 25 countries. These countries are mostly in Central and Eastern Europe but they also include some Southern and Western European countries such as Greece. CVD causes more than 50% of deaths in men in eight countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, FYR Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, and Ukraine

For men living in EU countries CVD causesbetween 62%(Bulgaria) and 26%of deaths (France) and for women between 71%(Bulgaria) and 31%of deaths (France)

Over the past 30 years death rates from CHD have been falling rapidly in most Northern and Western European countries but rising rapidly in some Central and Eastern European countries.

Death rates from CHD are generally higher in Central and Eastern Europe than in Northern, Southern and Western Europe. For example the death rate for men aged under 65 living in Ukraine is fourteen times higher than in France3 and for women it is twenty-five times higher. Western European countries generally have higher rates than Southern European countries. For example the death rate for men aged under 65 living in Ireland is 1.6 times higher than in Italy and for women it is 1.8 times higher .


Death rates from stroke are higher in Central and Eastern Europe than in Northern, Southern and Western Europe. For example the death rate in men aged under 65 living in the Russian Federation is twenty times higher than in Switzerland and for women of the same age it is fifteen times higher.

CVD and age •

CVD is the main cause of deaths before the age of 75 in Europe: accounting for over 1.81 million deaths each year. 43%of deaths before the age of 75 in women and 38%of deaths before the age of 75 in men are from CVD.

One in four of all men (25%) and one in six of all women (16%) die from CVD before the age of 75.

CVD is the second main cause of death before the age of 75 in the EU: accounting for over 576 000 deaths.

CVD causes 30% of deaths but cancer causes 36% of deaths. 31% of deaths before the age of 75 in men and 29%of deaths before the age of 75 in women are from CVD.

One in six of all men (16%) and one in 12 of all women (8%) die from CVD before the age of 75.

Years of life lost due to an early death •

CVD is not only the main cause of death in Europe and the EU, but is also the main causeof years lost due to an early death.

The WHO Global Burden of Disease Study found that in 1990 on average 31%of years of life lost were due to CVD in ‘Established Market Economies’ (mostly Northern, Southern and Western countries in Europe and all the member states of the EU - 15). This was more than any other cause. On average 16%of years of life lost were due to CHDin Established Market Economies, so by itself CHDwas the most important cause of years of life lost in these countries.

In Central and Eastern European countries 35%of years of life lost were due to CVD – again more than from any other cause- and 18%were lost due to CHD.

European Cardiovascular DiseaseStatistics

Each year cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes over 4.3 million deaths in Europe and over 2.0 million deaths in the European Union (EU). Some striking figures can already be found in the text below. •

CVDcausesnearly half of all deaths in Europe (48%)and in the EU (42%).


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CVD is the main cause of death in women in all countries of Europe and is the main causeof death in men in all countries except France, the Netherlands and Spain. CVD is the main cause of the disease burden (illness and death) in Europe (23% of all the disease burden) and the second main cause of the disease burden in those EU countries with very low child and adult mortality (17%). Death rates from CHD are generally higher in Central and Eastern Europe than in Northern, Southern and Western Europe. Death rates from stroke are higher in Central and Eastern Europe than in Northern, Southern and Western Europe. CVD mortality, incidence and case fatality are falling in most Northern, Southern and Western European Countries but either not falling as fast or rising in Central and Eastern European countries. Each year smoking kills over 1.2 million people in Europe (450,000 from CVD) and about 650,000 people in the EU (185,000 from CVD). The numbers dying in Europe from CVDdue to smoking rose by 13%between 1990 and 2000. Smoking has been declining in many European countries but the rate of decline is now slowing. Women are now smoking nearly as much as men in many European countries and girls often smoke more than boys. Dietary patterns across Europe - once very different - are now converging. Diets are generally improving in Northern and Western European countries but deteriorating in Southern, Central and Eastern European countries. Levels of physical inactivity are high in many European countries. Levels of obesity are increasing acrossEurope in both adults and children. Over 48 million adults in Europe and 23 million adults in the EU have diabetes and the prevalence is increasing. Overall CVDis estimated to cost the EU economy €192 billion a year. Of the total cost of CVD in the EU, around 57%is due to health care costs, 21%due to productivity lossesand 22%due to informal care of people with CVD.


Enfermedades cardiovasculares, asesino número 1