Hearts are Breaking All Over the World

European Society of Cardiology hosts summit on cardiovascular disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) recently hosted the 2010 European Summit on Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention, presenting some stark facts and findings.

Among those findings the consensus seemed to be: Lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, alcohol abuse and smoking have turned CVD into an epidemic that medical science alone cannot fix. In other words, change the way you live if you overeat, underexercise, drink too much or smoke -- or pay the dire consequences. Don't leave it all to science and pills to make you healthy again or to live a long, normal, life.

“It is shocking that the vast majority of the four million or so deaths in Europe each year from CVD can be attributed to lifestyle issues rather than underlying medical conditions," said Ian Graham, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Trinity College, Dublin.

Speakers at the summit included European Union (EU) and World Health Organization (WHO) representatives, who delivered their perspectives on how political actions could help deliver the social changes necessary to reduce the impact of CVD. There are not any new medical techniques that can control the CVD epidemic, according to Graham. Possible actions tabled at the summit include: subsidies to favour healthy diet choices, increasing taxation on vices, limiting availability of alcohol and tobacco, and promoting the benefits of exercise more widely.

Guidelines, clinical practice and public health policies must all align before the problem can be addressed, according to the ESC.

A variety of conditions and disorders comprise cardiovascular disease. About 81,100,000 people in the United States have one or more forms of the disease or have suffered the following conditions, including: high blood pressure (73,600,000); coronary heart disease (17,600,000); stroke (6,400,000); heart failure (5,800,000).

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 7, 2010
Last Updated:
December 7, 2010