“In April 2019, Italian MEP Brando Benifei wrote to the EU Commission on this issue of SHD, highlighting that by 2020, 20% of the EU’s population will be aged over 65, and by 2040 that number will have increased to almost 30%. EU Member States will have to adapt their economic and social structures to cope with the increase in the percentage of older citizens.
He stated that as the EU’s population ages, there will be an unprecedented increase in age-related diseases such as structural heart disease (SHD), which is treated by repairing and/or replacing the patient’s heart valves. It is estimated that 20 million people in the EU will have structural heart disease by 2040.
In the past, Member States have tackled similar EU-wide healthcare challenges through highly successful joint actions, such as the Joint Action on Vaccination and the Joint Action on Cancer Control.
Given the multidisciplinary nature of this common challenge:
- Does the Commission consider it desirable for EU Member States to work together to address the issue of age-related diseases by exchanging expertise on the topic and taking joint action?
- Does it agree that age-related diseases such as structural heart disease (SHD) should be featured in some way in a future joint action?
The EU Commission answered that sharing experience and best practice is indeed key. The full answer can be found here.