An EU heart health plan to tackle Europe’s number one killer

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An EU heart health plan to tackle Europe’s number one killer

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The last 50 years have witnessed substantial progress in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. However, despite this progress, cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of mortality in the EU with almost two million deaths every year. The pandemic has further shed light on the issue with 65% of patients who died from COVID-19 having had a cardiovascular comorbidity.

Announced in November 2020, the European Health Union is a game changer to tackle the burden of chronic diseases in an ageing Europe. Within this framework, the Beating Cancer Plan sets out a new EU approach to tackling cancer through actions across disease pathways. Cardiovascular diseases have yet to also benefit from a stand-alone coordinated strategy at the EU level, which would seek to improve prevention, treatment and care for patients.

Organised with MedTech Europe, and supported by Edwards Lifesciences, “The ticking time bomb: cardiovascular diseases” debate organised last year set out a renewed sense of urgency to address cardiovascular diseases on a European scale. This year, policymakers and key experts will seek to clear the minefield through the identification of solutions to incentivise collaboration at institutional and societal levels, such as a European heart health plan.


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An EU heart health plan to tackle Europe’s number one killer Expand An EU heart health plan to tackle Europe’s number one killer

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in Europe – reason enough to act. Largely preventable, heart disease can be treated effectively if diagnosed early. All ages are affected but risks rise significantly for older people, a key challenge for an ageing Europe with huge inequalities in outcomes across the continent.

The new Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan shows what can be achieved when the policies, funds and research efforts are concentrated on reaching specific targets for health. Some national governments have put in place a strategy on cardiovascular diseases but we lack the coordination and scale that happens when Europe acts together. Efforts are needed on prevention and data collection, updated research and innovation regulations, early diagnosis and better care for patients. To address big societal challenges, the EU can mobilise many stakeholders by incentivising collaboration.

Questions include:

  • Where can we make most gains in tackling cardiovascular disease in Europe?
  • Can Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan be the blueprint for a whole-of-institution, whole of-society approach to health?
  • What needs to be done to prepare for an EU action plan on cardiovascular diseases in 2023?

Speakers

Jean-Luc Lemercier

Corporate Vice-President of Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada & Latin America at Edwards Lifesciences

Stephan Achenbach

President of the European Society of Cardiology, Chairman of the Department of Cardiology and Professor of Medicine at the University of Erlangen

Tuija Brax

Vice President of the European Heart Network and Secretary General of the Finnish Heart Association

Pierre Delsaux

Deputy Director-General at the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)

End of debate
Speakers

Speakers

Jean-Luc-Lemercier
Jean-Luc Lemercier

Corporate Vice-President of Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada & Latin America at Edwards Lifesciences

Show more information on Jean-Luc Lemercier

Prior to assuming his current role, Jean-Luc Lemercier served as the Vice-President of transcatheter heart valves EMEA. Under his leadership at Edwards Lifesciences, the company successfully launched the SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve technology and built its leadership position in Europe. Edwards Lifesciences is the global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, as well as critical care and surgical monitoring. Jean-Luc also serves as Chair of the Cardiovascular Sector Group of MedTech Europe, the association representing the medical technology industry in Europe.

Stephan Achenbach
Stephan Achenbach

President of the European Society of Cardiology, Chairman of the Department of Cardiology and Professor of Medicine at the University of Erlangen

Show more information on Stephan Achenbach

As President of the European Society of Cardiology, Stephan Achenbach strives to ensure that the organisation continues to strengthen its global reputation and improve the standard of cardiovascular care. Prior to his current role, Achenbach held several positions within the organisation, including councillor, vice president, chairman of the congress programme committee and president-elect. A cardiologist by training, his research focuses on cardiac interventions and cardiac imaging with a focus on computed tomography of the heart. Achenbach was previously the founding president of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.

Tuija Brax
Tuija Brax

Vice President of the European Heart Network and Secretary General of the Finnish Heart Association

Show more information on Tuija Brax

As Vice President of the European Heart Network, Tuija Brax provides political and procedural direction on behalf of the organisation’s members. Additionally, Brax serves as Secretary General of the Finnish Heart Association, which financially supports not-for-profit organisations that promote heart and vascular health. She is the former Finnish minister of justice and served as a member of the Finnish parliament for 20 years. She has previously held a number of positions of trust, including chair of the advisory board of the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations in Finland and a member of the City Council of Helsinki.

Pierre Delsaux
Pierre Delsaux

Deputy Director-General at the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)

Show more information on Pierre Delsaux

Pierre Delsaux has gained significant experience in operational management, policy implementation and formulation throughout a long and remarkable career at the European Commission. A lawyer by training, he has held numerous senior positions within the Commission, mainly within the Directorate-General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) and the former Directorate-General Internal Market and Services (DG MARKT). Prior to working at the Commission, Delsaux was a legal secretary at the European Court of Justice.

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