Boosting cardiovascular health in the COVID-19 era
A blog by Christian Thonke, Director Global Affairs, Region Europe, Novartis and Sean Lybrand, Executive Director, International Health Systems Policy, Amgen
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is Europe’s number one killer, taking the lives of 5,000 Europeans every day. CVDs, including stroke, heart attack and heart failure, cause one-third of all premature deaths. They can also have a profound impact on the quality of life of those affected and add to the burden on families, communities, and health systems.
Meaningful progress has been made in improving outcomes over several decades, but these gains have begun to slow. In some countries, these gains are being lost and there are growing gaps between European countries in mortality and morbidity. In short, your chances of survival and recovery can be shaped by where you are when you have a heart attack or stroke.
COVID-19 made things worse, disrupting detection and care, and putting people with CVD at elevated risk of hospitalisation and death. The pandemic exposed existing disparities in cardiovascular care, including variation in the proportion of undetected CVDs, access to care, and the use of digital health tools to manage at-risk patients and drive better decisions.