Advancing Heart Health: SHD Coalition pushes for early detection and treatments in meeting with German Health Minister Prof. Dr. Karl Lauterbach

Thanks to the excellent work of the EU SHD Coalition members, the coalition was able to celebrate a great success: The German Ministry of Health announced a planned “law on early detection and treatment of cardiovascular diseases”. The SHD Coalition has played a key role in this success with its excellent work.

In addition, the German members of the SHD Coalition, Prof. Dr. Ralph Stephan von Bardeleben and Prof. Dr. Roland Hardt from the Mainz University Medical Center, both on the steering committee of the EU SHD Coalition, as well as PD Dr. Mohammad Sherif, Chief Physician of Cardiology at the clinic in Lörrach, received an invitation to talk to the German Minister of Health, Prof Dr Karl Lauterbach and other high-ranking ministry officials on the 25th January 2024 to discuss improved early detection of structural heart diseases (SHD).

Due to the demographic development and the associated increase in the prevalence of SHDs, increased attention and improved nationwide measures for the early detection and treatment of SHDs are required. Current challenges also include geographical, socio-economic and gender inequalities in the early detection and treatment of SHDs. It is necessary to identify the at-risk group through screening and take advantage of optimal treatment. Measures to combat SHDs should therefore include nationwide screening programmes, awareness campaigns for GPs and public education. Timely treatment of SHDs effectively improves quality of life, increases life expectancy and prevents heart failure. The EU SHD Coalition advocates for improved prioritization of SHD in policy to reduce the burden of the disease and improve patients’ quality of life.

During the successful meeting, the representatives and Minister Lauterbach also discussed the addition of these aspects of early detection measure of SHDs, particularly for elderly people, in the upcoming legislation. « The minister and his staff in the relevant specialist departments were extremely open to this, » said the Mainz representatives happily. « Further discussions at specialist level will follow. »  The tireless work and expertise of the SHD coalition contributed significantly to the successful outcome of the meeting.