Maintaining Cardiovascular Health in the Digital Era

David M. Leistner MD; Ulf Landmesser MD


Eur Heart J. 2019;40(1):9-12. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The focus for maintaining cardiovascular health requires timely decisions based on evidence

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Europe. There are more than 2 million deaths resulting from CVD in Europe per year (which is equal to about 35% of all deaths), and there are more than 11 million patients hospitalized for CVD each year. While management of CVD by pharmacological, catheter-based and minimal-invasive approaches has made tremendous progress over the past years, there is an increasing focus on early personalized strategies for maintaining cardiovascular health (CVH), with the aim to avoid clinical manifestation of CVD, which will undoubtably be more effective than treating clinically established CVD.

Therefore, there needs to be an increasing effort for the maintenance of CVH in addition to optimized treatment of clinically manifested CVD, which will provide unprecedented opportunities. Personalized strategies for maintaining CVH need to be refined and will be supported by the advances in molecular and genetic understanding of CVD, advances in multimodal cardiovascular imaging to characterize subclinical disease, improved sensitivity and specificity of biomarkers and novel strategies using digital health among others.

Moreover, in contrast to other chronic diseases, where the significance of underlying risk factors and the impact on management are less well defined, major CVDs provide an outstanding opportunity for an individualized, evidence-based strategy for maintenance of CVH. We provide two examples below to illustrate the vision of improved maintenance of CVH to prevent clinical onset of CVD.