EU health ministers discuss cardiovascular health

An informal ministerial meeting has focused on cardiovascular health, and in particular health determinants, with a view to agreeing a set of recommendations during the term of the Irish Presidency.

EU health ministers discussed possible future action to
prevent and tackle cardiovascular disease at an informal meeting on
12 May. "Older citizens have a high prevalence of risk factors for
cardiovascular disease, including raised blood pressure and raised
blood cholesterol; the ageing population suffers from a high
prevalence of angina, an increasing prevalence of obesity, type 2
diabetes and chronic heart failure," said Irish Minister for Health
Micheál Martin.

A key element in fighting cardiovascular disease is to address
the underlying health determinants, including tobacco use, obesity,
diet and physical activity and high blood pressure. One of the
three main objectives of the Community's action programme for
public health (2003-2008) addresses health determinants.

Approximately 1.5 million people die of cardiovascular disease
in the EU each year. The main forms of heart disease are coronary
heart disease and stroke.

The Irish Presidency has given a special focus
to cardiovascular disease during its six-month term (see also

). Following a proposal by the Irish
Presidency, the Council aims to deliver a recommendation on the
prevention of cardiovascular disease in June.


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