Each year cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes over 4 million deaths in Europe and over 1.9 million deaths in the European Union (EU). CVD is the main cause of death in women in all countries of Europe and is the main cause of death in men in all but 6 countries.

Overall CVD is estimated to cost the EU economy €195 billion a year. Of the total cost of CVD in the EU, around 54% is due to health care costs, 24% due to productivity losses and 22% due to the informal care of people with CVD.
Smoking remains a major public health issue in Europe. Although smoking has declined in many European countries the rate of decline is now slow, and rates remain stable or are increasing in some countries, particularly among women. Women are now smoking nearly as much as men in many European countries and girls often smoke more than boys.