Every year cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 3.9 million deaths in Europe and over 1.8 million deaths in the European Union (EU). Death rates from both ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke are higher in Central and Eastern Europe.

Over the past 25 years, the absolute number of CVD cases has increased in Europe and in EU with increases in the number of new CVD cases found in most countries.
Hospital discharge rates for CVD as a whole have increased steadily in Europe over the past 25 years. Dietary factors and high systolic blood pressure make the largest contribution to the risk of CVD mortality across Europe. Smoking rates have decreased across much of Europe while is high in Soviet Union countries. Levels of obesity are high across Europe and EU. Overall CVD is estimated to cost the EU economy €210 billion a year. This session discusses various options available to bring down the CVD mortality rate to a tolerable level through educating people around the world about the risk factors that causes CVD and other heart diseases.