In 11 European states, cancer is now a bigger killer than cardiovascular disease, a recent report shows.
According to the report, which has been recently published in the European Heart Journal, cardiovascular disease accounts for 45 percent of all deaths in Europe’s 53 states. Prevention efforts and better treatments, however, have reduced those numbers in several countries. In most European states, cancer kills nearly half as many people as cardiovascular conditions do.
But in 11 European states, however, cancer has morphed into top killer. The recent study suggests that more men die of cancer than of a cardiovascular condition in the U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Slovenia, Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg. European women in these states face a higher risk of dying from cancer than heart disease only in Denmark.
One of the senior study investigators, Dr Nick Townsend of the University of Oxford, explained that the findings mirror the large differences between European countries when it comes to cardiovascular mortality risk. The 11 states where cancer claims more lives than heart disease and stroke can be found in Western Europe.
Heart disease is a major mortality risk in Eastern Europe, researchers noted.
In France, more than 92,000 men were killed by cancer and more than 64,000 were killed by a cardiovascular condition. In England, more than 87,000 men lost the battle against cancer, and nearly 80,000 were killed by a heart condition.
Study authors also found that the numbers of healthy life years lost because of a disability triggered by a cardiovascular condition were higher in Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Russia than in Western Europe.
Dr Townsend explained that the differences may be due to different population distributions across the analyzed regions. Nevertheless, researchers call for more efforts to prevent and monitor cardiovascular disease to reduce inequalities across the continent.
The team believes that more research is necessary to help them understand why prevention efforts resulted in improved outcomes in some countries while in others they didn’t. Dr Townsend thinks that updating data on cardiovascular disease patients and deaths could help explain the differences.
The latest study is the fourth report on cardiovascular disease in Europe and it was based on data from the 2013 European Standard Population (ESP) report.
Image Source: Flickr