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3 . 2020

Cardiovascular diseases in Central and Eastern Europe: a call for more surveillance and evidence-based health promotion


The paper aims to identify the priorities for cardiovascular health promotion research in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the region with the highest cardiovascular diseases (CVD) burden in the world.

Methods. This narrative review covered peer-reviewed publications and online databases using a nonsystematic purposive approach.

Results. In despite of a steady decrease in CVD burden in the region, the East-West disparities are still significant. There is minimal continuity in the past and current CVD prevention efforts in the region. Many challenges still exist, including an opportunity gap in research funding, surveillance and population-based preventive interventions. A comprehensive approach focusing on multisectoral cooperation, quality and accessibility of healthcare and equity-oriented public policies and supported by well-designed epidemiologic studies is needed to overcome these challenges.

Conclusion. The current level of effort is not adequate to address the magnitude of the CVD epidemic in CEE. It is imperative to strengthen the epidemiological base concerning cardiovascular health in the region, to foster surveillance and progress in implementation of CVD preventive strategies in the most affected populations of Europe.

Funding. This work was supported by the National Program of Sustainability II (MEYS CR) (no. LQ1605), and by the European Regional Development Fund - Project ENOCH (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000868).

Competing Interests. The Authors declared no conflict of interest, all authors take responsibility for all aspects of the reliability and freedom from bias of the data presented and their discussed interpretation. All authors contributed to this work.


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Guzel E. Ulumbekova
MD, MBA from Harvard University (Boston, USA), Head of the Graduate School of Healthcare Organization and Management (VSHOUZ)
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