heart failure

With Europe's ageing population comes several social, economic and environmental benefits. It also brings rising risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) which must be managed to protect citizens’ wellbeing and the sustainability of our health systems. That is why we are inspired to see 15 European and international health organisations joining forces to form the European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health. Their shared goal is to call on the European Union to set out an ambitious plan of action to tackle the burden of CVD. There is no time to lose. CVD is the leading cause of death in Europe, affecting millions of lives every day. This group of conditions includes heart attacks and strokes, heart failure as well as arrhythmias and congenital heart disease – all of which can have a profound impact on quality of life. So, what do we need to do together to ensure that Europe takes the right actions today to reduce the burden on individuals and society in the future? The vital role of secondary prevention Along with better care and rehabilitation, one of the key messages emerging from the launch of the Alliance is on prevention. This includes secondary prevention to reduce the risk of having a second cardiac event and to manage the health of CVD patients. This struck a chord with us given our work on heart failure. The human heart is like a pump. Its task is to deliver oxygen and nutrients to all cells in the body, as well as removing waste via the bloodstream. Heart failure occurs when the heart’s pumping capacity is reduced, and it can no longer deliver enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This life-threatening disease affects millions of patients for whom the outlook is often poor. It is associated with hospitalisation and early death. For...