CVD is Europe’s biggest killer and a leading cause of unplanned hospitalisations, with millions suffering a heart attack or stroke every year. Less well known is that many of these are repeat events, happening among those already known to be at high risk. It is well proven that many such events are preventable with the right package of specialised acute care, structured rehabilitation and long term management.
However, a new report has revealed the scale of systemic gaps and inequalities in CVD prevention and care for these high needs groups. This is driving significant healthcare costs and many avoidable hospital admissions, yet heart attack and stroke appear to be largely deprioritised at policy level, with few countries maintaining formal plans or strategies to tackle entrenched systemic failures and improve long-term patient outcomes. The report, ‘Secondary prevention of heart attack and stroke in Europe’, was developed by The Health Policy Partnership, with input from an Advisory Panel of leading European experts in CVD prevention, including patient representation from Croí. The pan-European summary report is accompanied by 11 country profiles exploring the national situation in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK.