Baltic states report high levels of cardiovascular disease

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Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the EU, and the Baltic states have some of Europe's highest rates of cardiovascular disease, according to Eurostat figures published October 11.

While most data relate to 2019, there are some for 2020 which include data that may have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its related restrictions.

"For this reason, particular attention should be paid when comparing the 2020 data with data from earlier years," advises Eurostat.

Diseases of the circulatory system accounted for 50–60 % of all deaths in the Baltic Member States and Romania, while this share was close to two thirds (65.4 %) in Bulgaria. By contrast, less than one quarter of all deaths in France (23.8 %; 2017 data) and Denmark (21.6 %) were caused by diseases of the circulatory system.

The largest gaps between the sexes were recorded in the Baltic Member States, Slovenia and Romania, where the proportions of females dying from diseases of the circulatory system in 2019 were between 12.3 and 15.1 percentage points higher than those for males; the gender imbalance was also relatively large in Croatia and Bulgaria (11.1 and 9.4 percentage points).

"Some of the highest standardised death rates for ischaemic heart diseases were recorded in the Baltic Member States: Lithuania had the highest rate in 2019 for males (619 per 100 000 inhabitants) and for females (376 per 100 000 inhabitants), followed – in different orders for males and females – by Latvia, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Czechia. By contrast, the lowest standardised death rates for males and females were recorded in France (2017 data), followed – again in different orders – by the Benelux Member States, Spain, Portugal and Denmark," said Eurostat.

In 2019, the highest standardised death rates for cerebrovascular diseases were recorded in Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania and Lithuania. The highest shares of self-reported hypertensive diseases among the population aged 15 years and over were recorded in Croatia (37.3 %), Latvia (31.7 %), Hungary (31.5 %), Lithuania (29.9 %), Bulgaria (29.7 %), and Slovakia (28.4 %). 

Bulgaria, Lithuania, Germany (2018 data), Austria, Latvia and Hungary each reported more than 3 000 in-patient discharges per 100 000 inhabitants among those treated for diseases of the circulatory system in 2019 (see Figure 2). Bulgaria and Lithuania recorded, by far, the highest ratios: 4 697 per 100 000 inhabitants and 4 167 in-patient discharges per 100 000 inhabitants respectively. Cyprus recorded the lowest ratio, some 930 in-patient discharges per 100 000 inhabitants, while Portugal and Ireland were the only other EU Member States with fewer than 1 200 discharges per 100 000 inhabitants.

 

 

 

 

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