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Hellenic J Cardiol. 2018 Oct 12. pii: S1109-9666(18)30342-7. doi: 10.1016/j.hjc.2018.09.006. [Epub ahead of print]

Cardiovascular disease in Greece; the latest evidence on risk factors.

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Department of Cardiology, "Elpis" General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece. Electronic address:
Department of Cardiology, "Elpis" General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a significant and ever-growing problem in Europe, accounting for nearly 45% of all deaths and leading to significant morbidity. Greece is one of the European Union member states that top the list of deaths due to ischemic heart disease and stroke, a fact that is mainly attributed to unfavorable changes in modifiable risk factors. The aim of this review is to examine the latest evidence on the most important CVD risk factors. According to studies conducted during the last two decades, the prevalence of arterial hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and obesity remained relatively stable or increased. The decrease in the prevalence of active smokers and the increase in physical activity, during the last few years, are the main favorable risk modifications in the Greek population. Nevertheless, citizens of Greece seem to gradually adopt unhealthy dietary habits by moving away from Mediterranean diet, as issue that is intensified after the outbreak of the Greek debt crisis. Furthermore, the inability of some patients to afford their medications and the possible health care deficiencies as well as the increasing prevalence of depression may make the situation even worse. During the financial crisis, CVD mortality seems to have remained unaffected, but there is evidence that the incidence of cardiovascular events is increasing. More effort is needed to control established and emerging CVD risk factors among the Greek population.


Cardiovascular disease; Financial crisis; Greece; Risk factors

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