Tackling the burden of structural heart disease:

A European coalition

Welcome to the Structural Heart Disease Coalition website

Structural heart diseases are structural abnormalities of the heart leading to impaired functioning that can affect the heart’s valves, walls, muscles, and blood vessels. They are a form of cardiovascular disease and currently affect around 14 million people in Europe, creating a significant burden for the people suffering from the disease as well as the wider economy and society. 

The Structural Heart Disease Coalition (SHD Coalition) is a European network that brings together experts including key opinion leaders, politicians, and patients to work together to ensure that policy on SHD is prioritised.

The initial goal of the SHD Coalition is to work towards a European Joint Action on Structural Heart Disease with an emphasis on early diagnosis and equal access to care, and treatment for people of all ages. This will require political prioritisation at the EU level as well as strong national support.

Launched in March 2021, this website showcases the various actions undertaken by the Coalition at both EU level and in countries and provides information about SHD and its impact.

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Did you know?

One of the main types of SHD has a worse prognosis than some metastatic cancers. If not treated properly, 1 out of 2 diagnosed patients will die after 2 years. After 3 years, this increases to 2 out of 3 patients
The difference between having structural heart disease and being disease-free lies in being able to live a fully independent life - and not being able to make it up a flight of stairs
The 2019 European Heart Health Survey revealed that there is a significant lack of awareness about structural heart diseases, with only 6% of respondents able to describe the condition
40 % of individuals in the EU believe that age discrimination is widespread in their country; In structural heart disease this translates into lack of access to diagnosis, treatment and care. For example: Only 28% of 65+ people in Europe have their heart checked at every GP visit

Members of the SHD Coalition participate in a virtual Public Hearing on Structural Heart Disease organised by MEP Pascal Arimont

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Pascal Arimont from Belgium and Brando Benifei from Italy have recently organised a public hearing on Structural Heart Disease (SHD). The key outcome of this hearing was increased awareness of SHD amongst policymakers and members of the European Commission. MEP Arimont highlighted that the European Parliament has a role to channel current EU budgets…

Flemish MPs gather at parliamentary event on the early detection of SHDs

On Wednesday 15 June, the SHD Coalition organised an event in the Flemish Parliament with the goal of drawing attention to the lack of awareness and the importance of early detection related to SHDs in Flanders. Central to the event was a session during which MPs were given the opportunity to undergo a short heart screening performed by Coalition Steering Committee Member and cardiologist Prof.…

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