Cardiovascular disease: the need for more R&D in Europe

Although cardiovascular disease, predominantly coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, is still the leading cause of mortality in Europe (around 47% of deaths), deaths from CHD have more than halved since the 1980s. There have been steady reductions in mortality from the disease in both genders and in most European countries, largely due to tests that allow timely diagnosis, as well as treatment with the new anti-thrombotic drugs. The major concern now, though, is that this steady reduction in mortality is beginning to plateau in many EU countries, particularly in younger people, and even more alarming is that an actual rise in mortality has recently been demonstrated in populations in Romanian, Greece and Lithuania. The danger is that such increases will be sustained and will begin to occur in other European countries, fuelled by the diabetes and obesity