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Dates: 2005 completed, Update 2007-2008 completed, Update 2011-2012
Funding: British Heart Foundation and European Heart Network
Collaborators: BHF Health Promotion Research Group, University of Oxford 
Information: Jose Leal and Ramon Luengo-Fernandez

The Council of Ministers of the European Union (EU) has emphasised that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the ‘largest cause of sickness and morbidity', and is a ‘major cause of death and premature death' and ‘of reduced quality of life' for the citizens of the European Union. The main forms of CVD are coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.

In 2006, we estimated for the first time the economic costs of CVD for all the 25 countries of the European Union including direct health care costs, informal care costs, and productivity loss.

An update of this project was commissioned in 2007 by the British Heart Foundation and European Heart Network. The objective of this project was to update previous results for the year 2006, and include estimates on the costs of CVD for Bulgaria and Romania, which had recently joined the EU. CVD was estimated to cost the EU €169 billion a year representing a total annual cost per capita of €372. Of the total cost of CVD in the EU, healthcare accounted for 57% of costs, and productivity losses and informal care represented 21% and 12% of costs, respectively.

In 2011, we were commissioned to update our previous estimates for the year 2009 for the 27 countries of the EU. We plan to use the same methodology as in our previous estimates to enable comparisons between the different time periods.


Leal et al, European CVD Statistics (2008) - details

Leal, J, Luengo-Fernandez, R, Gray, A, Petersen, S, and Rayner, M (2006). Economic burden of cardiovascular diseases in the enlarged European Union. Eur Heart J 27(13):1610-9.

Luengo-Fernandez R, Leal J, Gray A, Petersen S, and Rayner M (2006) Cost of cardiovascular diseases in the United Kingdom. Heart, 92(10):1384-9.