#ESCcongress Europa’s grootste cardiologie conferentie, de European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congres, is al drie dagen onderweg in Barcelona. Dit vier dagen durende evenement zal een showcase zijn voor de meest spannende en innovatieve wetenschap uit de wereldwijde cardiologie-gemeenschap. Het is ook een goed moment om na te denken over het menselijke lijden en financiële gevolgen van hart-en vaatziekten (HVZ).
Tegen het einde van 2014 zullen cardiovasculaire ziekten in totaal van 1,1 miljoen doden veroorzaakt hebben over slechts zes Europese landen (op basis van de ESC, is al goed voor 4 miljoen doden per jaar in heel Europa). Het zal deze economieën hebben € 102,1 miljard hebben gekost (£ 83300000000) – ongeveer gelijk aan het BBP van een middelgrote Europese economie, zoals Hongarije. En dit effect zal alleen maar gaan stijgen. Met een vergrijzende bevolking is er meer kans op hart-en vaatziekten en zal waarschijnlijk toenemen en stress op de Europese economieën en de gezondheidszorg in de komende decennia.
Estimating the cost burden of cardiovascular disease – now and in the future
Europe’s largest cardiology conference, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress, begins in Barcelona tomorrow. The four day event will be a showcase for the most exciting and innovative science emerging from the global cardiology community. It is also a good time to reflect on the real human and financial impact of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
By the end of 2014 CVD will have caused a total of 1.1 million deathsi across just six European countries (according to the ESC, it already accounts for 4 million deathsii a year across the whole of Europe). It will have cost these economies €102.1 billioniii (£83.3 billion) – roughly equivalent to the GDP of a mid-sized European economy, such as Hungary. And this impact is only set to rise. An ageing population, that is more prone to cardiovascular disease, will likely increase the stress on European economies and healthcare systems over the next few decades.
About CV disease
Cardiovascular disease covers a range of diseases related to the circulatory system, including ischemic heart disease (known as IHD or heart attack) and cerebrovascular disease (stroke). The diseases can appear sudden and unexpected or take the form of a long-term condition. Cardiovascular disease conditions affect people of all ages. However, the likelihood of cardiovascular disease increases significantly with age meaning that men above the age of 45 and women above 55 are those mainly affected.
These figures come from a new research paper published today by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), and commissioned by AstraZeneca, to evaluate the impact of CVD in six major European economiesiv: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In September 2011, the UN held a landmark high-level meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) where 28 heads of state made a commitment to reduce the premature mortality by 25% by 2025v. As a pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment and management of CVD we commissioned the report to better understand the scale of the challenge in some of our key European markets but also to help maintain momentum on the political priority of reducing the global disease burden of CVD.
Of the total €102.1 billion cost of CVD across the six economies looked at by the Cebr, €81.1 billion (£66.1 billion) is direct cost to Europe´s healthcare systems. The indirect costs from lost productivity due to premature mortality amount to €19.6 billion (£16.1 billion) and costs from morbidity related to CVD, such as absence from work, account for €1.4 billion (£1.1 billion). By the end of the decade these combined costs are estimated to rise to €122.6 billion (£100.2 billion) per year.
Figure 1: Estimated total cost from CVD in 2014
So how do we achieve this?
While CVD is largely a preventable disease, often the focus is too much on the acute event – the heart attack – rather than the underlying disease state. Up to 15 per cent of patients die within a year of their cardiovascular eventvi. These data are alarming but I believe we can make a significant impact through a continued and coordinated focus across industry, academia, healthcare systems and governments on three things: scientific innovation, prevention education and support and medication adherence.
This means continued investment in the discovery and development of new treatment options across the spectrum of CVD; a coordinated effort from national-level public information campaigning through to one-on-one health and lifestyle advice from healthcare professionals; and better support to ensure patients continue to take their medication in the right way, particularly following a cardiovascular event as they move from secondary into tertiary care.
The financial burden that CVD places on governments and healthcare systems is secondary to the vast number of people and families who are affected by this deadly disease each year, and these numbers will only climb unless we address the epidemic head on. We have to keep CVD on the priority lists of governments across Europe, demonstrating the economic strains this disease creates will add to the argument why we should all remain focused on our commitments to reduce premature mortality from CVD by 25% by 2025.
As a pharmaceutical company it is our responsibility to serve the millions of individuals and their families affected by CVD, and to play an integral role in the prevention and treatment of the disease to ensure we support the 25 by 25 ambition. The next three days at ESC will be about pushing the boundaries of science to do just that.