Cardiovascular Diseases

Health - Cardiovascular Diseases - About The Sector

Cardiovascular diseases cover a range of diseases related to the circulatory system, including ischemic heart disease (IHD) (often referred to as heart attack and caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits lining the inner wall of a coronary artery, restricting blood flow to the heart) and cerebrovascular diseases (diseases that relate to problems with the blood vessels that supply the brain, such as strokes). Central and eastern European countries report the highest mortality rates from heart attacks; Japan, Korea and France are the OECD countries with the lowest rates. Across OECD countries, mortality rates from heart attacks in 2011 were 90% higher for men than women.1

Cardiovascular diseases were the leading cause of death in Europe in 2011, accounting for almost 40% of all deaths in EU countries. 2

The role of nanotechnology for cardiovascular diseases includes its use for therapies via implantable devices (with modified nanosurfaces e.g. stents with a nanocoating) and for targeted drug delivery. In the future, it may be used in regenerative techniques including implanted bioactive materials and stem cell mobilisation.


1. Source: OECD (2013), “Mortality from cardiovascular diseases”, in Health at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/health_glance-2013-7-en
2. OECD (2014), Health at a Glance: Europe 2014, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/health_glance_eur-2014-en