Cardiovascular diseases

Every year, an estimated 17 million people globally die of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), particularly heart attacks and strokes. CVDs occur almost equally in men and women. Although heart attacks and strokes are major killers in all parts of the world, 80% of premature deaths from these causes could be avoided by controlling the main risk factors: tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

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WHO conference on cardiovascular diseases addresses difference in life expectancy between eastern and western Europe

Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, comprise almost half of all deaths in the WHO European Region, and contribute significantly to the differences in life expectancy between eastern and western Europe. To this end, WHO/Europe organized the International Conference on Cardiovascular Diseases in St Petersburg, Russian Federation on 19–20 November 2015.

World Health Day 2013

The theme for World Health Day in 2013 was high blood pressure, also known as raised blood pressure or hypertension. It increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure and if left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can also cause blindness, irregular heartbeat and heart failure.

Go to World Health Day 2013 site

Data and statistics


The percentage of deaths caused by cardiovascular disease in the European Region

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Yoga flash mob in Vienna, Austria, 4 July 2013


Unite in the fight against NCDs