PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release

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Vilnius- 24th November 2015

The European Institute of Womens Health(EIWH) joins forces with our CHRODIS-JA partners to tackle the Burden of Chronic Diseases in Europe  Identifying  best practice in health promotion and disease prevention.

Chronic diseases represent the major share of the burden of disease in Europe, which often results in premature morbidity and loss of healthy life years.  Europe has the highest  burden of chronic diseases which are responsible for 86% of all deaths.The increase in life expectancy has contributed to the rising prevalence of chronic conditions.

The focus of the CHRODIS-JA is on on cardiovascular diseases, stroke and type 2 diabetes, taking into account lifestyles and health-related behaviour as well as the socioeconomic determinants that influence them.

Many chronic diseases are preventable, or their onset can be delayed, through policies and  interventions that address modifiable individual and social risk factors: changes in
lifestyle, having a healthy diet, being physically active, reducing alcohol consumption and not smoking tobacco are well known lifestyle modifications backed by a wealth of research.

The problem is that only 3% of health costs in EU Member States are presently invested in prevention measures, whereas about 97% are spent on treatment

said Peggy Maguire,  Director General, EIWH.

Chronic diseases affect more than 80% of people over 65 in Europe and the presence of multiple conditions has a multiplier effect on health burden and management costs.
According to projections by 2030 the number of people over 65 will exceed 150 million.

Women generally live longer than men and by 2060 the largest proportion of the population will be the over 80 years of age group,in which women will represent the majority.

Women, on average, live longer than men, but their quality of life and wellbeing is not
always satisfactory. CVD is the largest killer of women in Europe. Women are getting CVD about 10 years later than men. Smoking is more likely to cause CVD in women than in men and research suggests that mortality in smoking women is higher.

Large gender differences exist in the development and progression of CVD in women. As women live longer and the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes increases, it is important to understand the role that gender, age, and the interaction with other chronic conditions contribute to the development of CVD to better prevent and manage the overall chronic disease burden in women.

Maeve Cusack , Board Member EIWH stated that:

A life course approach to healthy ageing starts at birth and therefore reinforces the need to prioritise early intervention. Healthy ageing requires targeted, multi-sectorial interventions aimed at key risk groups in the population. As a partner in CHRODIS-JA the EIWH hopes to contribute to the prevention and delay of onset of chronic diseases by sharing best practice examples from across Europe”.

“There are also increasing rates of obesity in women than in men. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke increase a women’s risk of developing heart disease and stroke.  The risk of CVD is especially high in women who started smoking before the age of 15. It appears that women’s CVD risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoke. For women, alcohol consumption is in many ways more dangerous than it is for men, making them particularly vulnerable to alcohol’s harmful effects”


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