European Union

The European Health Data Space: what impact for SHD patients?

Introduced by the European Commission on 3 May 2022, the European Health Data Space is a proposal for a regulation that aims to reform how patients’ health data is shared across the EU both for primary care and secondary purposes, such as research and policymaking.


On 21 November 2022, the European Commission adopted and published the priorities and actions, including the allocation of resources, for the implementation in 2023 of the EU4Health programme as established under Regulation (EU) 2021/522 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

New Polish Cardiovascular Plan: Leading by Example

Joining the handful of countries that have a national plan on cardiovascular (CV) health, Poland adopted its innovative “National Program for Cardiovascular Diseases - National Cardiac Strategy for 2022-2032”

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…

Created by SHD Coalition

EU4Health work programme 2022: opportunities for SHD patients

The European Commission dedicated more than € 65 million on non-communicable diseases within the new EU4Health 2022 Work Programme, representing a major opportunity for the fight against cardiovascular and structural heart disease in the EU.

Created by SHD Coalition

Building on 2021,the EU SHD Coalition looks forward to 2022

After only 9 months of existence, the Coalition positively looks back at 2021 and looks forward to contributing towards the creation of EU Joint Action for Structural Heart Disease at EU level and from Member States, now more relevant than ever.

Created by SHD Coalition

Priorities of the French Presidency of the EU – Opportunities for the SHD Coalition

French president Emmanuel Macron presented the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU Starting in January 2022, this Presidency offers various opportunities to reinforce a European approach for an active and healthy Europe.

Created by SHD Coalition

Call for Action on early detection of cardiovascular diseases in Germany

Improving the early detection of cardiovascular and structural heart disease in Germany : 5 proposals from German experts roundtable

Created by SHD Coalition

The EU4Health stakeholders consultation identifies cardiovascular diseases as first area where intervention is needed in the framework of EU4Health 2022 work programme

The report of the EU4Health stakeholder’ consultation has been published and outlines the conclusions of both the consultation and the webinar that followed. The report includes the importance of tackling CVDs, including SHDs, for the first time.

Created by SHD Coalition

14 Members of Parliaments across Europe call for a Joint Action on SHD at the occasion of World Heart Day

On this special day, Brando Benifei MEP shared a letter to the European Commissioner for Health and food safety Stella Kyriakides calling for a joint action on SHD in the framework of the EU4Health programme.

Created by SHD Coalition

French Parliament and Minister calls for integration of active and healthy ageing in upcoming French Presidency of the EU

On 15 September, an event organised in the National Assembly by MP Annie Vidal and MP Paul Christophe gathered key stakeholders, including the French delegated Minister for Autonomy Brigitte Bourguignon, to discuss the inclusion of active and healthy ageing in the forthcoming French EU Presidency.

Created by SHD Coalition

EU SHD Coalition presents proposal for Joint Action on SHDs at EU Commission’s webinar

The EU SHD Coalition was invited to present its proposals for an EU Joint Action at a recent EU Commission’ webinar on EU4Health

Created by SHD Coalition

SHD Coalition meets in plenary meeting

The SHD Coalition gathered on September 7th for its first plenary meeting. It was the occasion for members to meet (virtually) and to present the activities achieved in the framework of the Coalition’s objectives.

Created by SHD Coalition

Italian Heart Foundation - Fondazione Italiana per il cuore urges Italian Government to support the EU Joint Action on Structural Heart Diseases

On 13 July 2021, the Italian Heart Foundation gathered SHD and cardiology experts, MEPs, Government representatives and Institutions for a synergic step towards Italy supporting the SHD Joint Action goal. A study carried out by CEIS - Center for Economics and International Studies (Tor Vergata University, Rome) points out SHD impact on the Italian social welfare system: data leaves no time but for…

Created by SHD Coalition

Interview with Prof. Paolo Magni: Rethinking the detection and treatment of structural heart disease in Europe

Read the interview of Steering Committee member, Prof. Paolo Magni, who spoke about the development of the International Longevity Centre’s report (ILC) titled “The invisible epidemic: Rethinking the detection and treatment of SHD in Europe” and discussed the many problems patients have in accessing medical treatment.

Created by SHD Coalition

Political supporter of SHD Coalition calls for EU Joint Action on SHDs at event

At a virtual event organized by think tank Friends of Europe, political supporter of the SHD Coalition, Brando Benifei MEP, called for urgent action on structural heart diseases and reiterated the need for the EU-wide introduction of heart health checks for people above 65 years…

Created by SHD Coalition

SHD Coalition calls on Commission to address ageism in SHD treatment

In its response to the European Commission’s Green Paper on ageing, the SHD Coalition highlights the urgent need to tackle age discrimination when treating SHDs. The Coalition is calling for an EU Joint Action …

Created by SHD Coalition

Event Report - Towards a more resilient ageing population in Europe: Building a Coalition on Structural Heart Diseases.

On 1 March 2021, a virtual event co-hosted by MEP Brando Benifei (S&D, Italy) & MEP Maria Da Graça Carvalho (EPP, Portugal) took place...

Created by SHD Coalition

Roundtable: “Towards a more resilient ageing population in Europe: building a coalition on Structural Heart Diseases”

A date for your diary! Virtual event co-hosted by MEPs Brando Benifei and Maria de Graca Carvalho titled “Towards a more resilient ageing population in Europe: building a coalition on Structural Heart Diseases”...

Created by Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (EPP, ES), Dolors Montserrat (EPP, ES)

MEPs submits Parliamentary Question on Structural Heart Disease

COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for people with an underlying heart condition, such as structural heart disease. As population ageing in Europe increases, so too does the percentage of people with undiagnosed and untreated …

Created by César Luena (S&D, ES)

European Parliament write to EU Commission on Structural Heart Disease

MEP César Luena (S&D, ES) wrote to the European Commission on its new EU4Health programme which aims to ‘improve the resilience of health systems and ensure better health outcomes for all’. …

Created by SHD Coalition

MEP submits Parliamentary Question on Structural Heart Disease

What is the Commission’s view on making screening for structural heart disease and other age-related conditions part of the EU Health Programme?

Created by SHD Coalition

MEP submits Parliamentary Question on the need for a Joint Action on SHD

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 …

Estimated number of people with SHD in the EU

Percentages of population in the EU2

Key facts related to SHD in the EU

1 out of 26 people are estimated to have SHD in the EU in 2040.3

In 2040 ¼ of the healthcare demand will be for people over the age of 65.4

The old-age dependency ratio5 in 2016 was 30%, in 2040 this will be 46 %6.

Key messages

  • The senior population in Europe is about to experience an exponential growth in the next years with a corresponding vast increase in prevalence of SHD.
  • The proportionate change in our demographics requires a corresponding proportionate change in our health systems.
  • EU Member States face an unprecedented challenge to their economic stability and social structures through the drastic increase in older citizens as a percentage of population.
  • Preserving senior citizens autonomy through enabling treatments is an economic imperative. It should be looked on no more differently than an economic crisis that requires comprehensive policy responses.


  1. Eurostat (2017) People in the EU – population projections, [retrieved on: 25/July/2018]
  2. Eurostat (2017) People in the EU – population projections, [retrieved on: 25/July/2018]
  3. J. d’Arcy et al. (2016) Large-scale community echocardiographic screening reveals a major burden of undiagnosed valvular heart disease in older people: 
    the OxVALVE Population Cohort Study [retrieved on: 25/July/2018]
  4. Eurostat (2017) People in the EU – population projections, [retrieved on: 25/July/2018]
  5. The old age dependency ration is defined as the ratio between the number of persons aged 65 years and over to the number of persons aged 15-64,
    expressed as a percentage.
  6. Eurostat (2017) Baseline projections: demographic balances and indicators [retrieved on 31/July/2018]