As the worldwide leading cause of death, the consequences of cardiovascular disease are immense. Cardiovascular disease has no geographic, gender-based or socioeconomic boundaries. It has an enormous impact on a country’s economy and its prevention is now recognised as an urgent public health need. Cardiovascular disease is on the rise and expected to account for 23.6 million deaths annually by 2030.
“The most prevalent cardiovascular diseases are coronary heart disease and stroke,” said Jon Barrick, chief executive of the Stroke Association, during the debate initiated by SAFE and Bayer HealthCare. “A stroke can have a major and lasting impact on people’s lives, not just for survivors, but also their families. It also places a significant strain on our healthcare systems. Much more must be done at policy level to address this serious public health threat.”
Kjetil Gaarder, who suffered a stroke at the age of 33, is now a member of the Executive Board of the Norwegian Association for Stroke Survivors. He pointed out: “In the future, organisations such as SAFE will play an increasing role in giving patients a voice. A key contribution is the networking with national stroke organisations, governments and stroke research institutions.”
“Improving the health outcomes of those affected by cardiovascular disease is of the utmost importance,” remarked Dr Frank Misselwitz, Head of Therapeutic Area Cardiology and Coagulation at Bayer HealthCare. “However, it will require everybody to work together: Patients, healthcare professionals, policy makers, non-governmental organisations and industry. None of us can achieve this alone.”
Joachim Heisters, a cardiologist running a surgery in Germany stated: “Primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases needs interdisciplinary diagnostics especially in the fields of cardiology, diabetology, and nephrology. In addition to that, doctors’ offices require more resources to offer sustainable health-coaching to patients.”
Dr Lieven Annemans, Professor of Health Economics at the University in Ghent, declared: “Europe should invest more in cost-effective prevention of cardiovascular diseases”.