Almost one in two deaths in Germany is due to a disease of the cardiovascular system. Older people in particular are affected. A further increase in this figure can be expected in view of rising life expectancy rates and the growing number of people with chronic heart diseases. But cardiovascular disorders also occur in younger people (under 50 years of age). Risk factors include excess weight, smoking, high blood pressure, a high cholesterol level and diabetes.
The treatment of cardiovascular diseases is costly: The share of cardiovascular drugs alone amounts to around a quarter of overall expenditure on drugs in the statutory health insurance system. In addition to the cost of diagnostics and treatment, there is also expenditure on rehabilitation measures for heart attack or stroke patients who require further care after they are discharged from hospital.
Further information on cardiovascular research can be found [here]
Research in recent years has led to considerable improvements in the diagnosis and therapy of cardiovascular diseases. Nevertheless, a complete cure is rarely possible. Experts expect considerable progress in the field of cardiovascular research as a result of new molecular and cell biology methods.
The BMBF established the preconditions for achieving such progress by setting up the hreflang=en class="linkint">National Genome Research Network (NGFN) in 2001. One of the altogether five disease-oriented genome networks is working in this field: The Cardiovascular Genome Network has 22 working groups at 11 sites and received funding of approximately 22 million euro until 2007. The network studies, among other things, the genetic mechanisms which lead to a heart attack, high blood pressure or arterial sclerosis. Apart from providing systematic functional analyses of the genes, the networks' research results can also provide the basis for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
These are supra-regional networks on pre-defined diseases linking research and patient care. In view of the high rate of disease incidence, the BMBF has been funding three Medical Competence Networks for cardiovascular diseases since 2003. These networks operate nation-wide and deal with diseases such as atrial fibrillation, heart insufficiency and congenital heart defects.
Deutsche Version dieser Seite
Ursachen, Prävention, Therapie - Ergebnisse der Herzkreislaufforschung (Aktualisierung der Erstauflage von 2004)
2007, 76 pages
Order No: 30036
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