New study reveals financial burden of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases represent an enormous economic challenge for the EU. [Shutterstock]

New research looking at the costs of cardiovascular disease in six EU member states (France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom) concludes that the financial burden will rise to €122.6 billion by 2020, up from €102.1 billion in 2014.

The research launched Thursday (28 August) by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) added that mortality from cardiovascular disease will also rise to 1,22 million in 2020, from 1,12 million today, and 93,584 will be among the working age population.

The six major European countries account for 74% of the EU’s GDP and 64% of its population.

The CEBR research was commissioned by AstraZeneca, in order to gain a better understanding of the direct financial impact of cardiovascular disease to healthcare systems, alongside the indirect costs from lost productivity due to premature mortality.

“The figures set out in this new study are stark. The financial burden of cardiovascular disease and the human impact on individuals and their families is only set to rise unless we address this epidemic head on,” Tom Keith-Roach from AstraZeneca said. 

“This requires a continued, coordinated focus across industry, academia, healthcare systems and governments. As a pharmaceutical company, we believe it is our responsibility to play an integral role in the prevention and treatment of the disease by pushing the boundaries of science to create life-changing medicines for patients,” he added.

Germany faces by far the highest cost from cardiovascular disease, at €37.4 billion in 2014 or 1.4% of GDP. The total cost from the disease is forecast to increase further by 2020, to €41.3 billion. Cardiovascular disease also represents 1.4% of the GDP in the UK, rising to €23.1 billion by 2020.

>> Read our LinksDossier Cardiovascular disease: Social and economic impacts

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), chronic maladies, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths.

Approximately four million people in Europe and 1.5 million people in the EU die of cardiovascular disease each year, according to the European Heart Network (EHN) and the European Society for Cardiology (ESC). The main forms of heart disease are coronary heart disease, and stroke.

To reduce the number of deaths from heart diseases, European Union countries agreed to tackle the underlying health determinants behind cardiovascular health in its 2014-2020 health programme.

A key element in fighting cardiovascular disease is to address the underlying health determinants, including bad cholesterol, tobacco use, obesity, diet and physical activity and high blood pressure.

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