The kick-off meeting for the Young50 project was held on 6 and 7 June. 

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the main causes of mortality in the European Union, causing over 1.8 million deaths per year, as well as a significant loss of potential life expectancy. Scientific evidence has highlighted the need for preventative interventions to avoid or delay the appearance of cardiovascular diseases by taking on healthy lifestyles; more specifically a healthy diet, regular physical exercise and quitting smoking.

The YOUNG50 project is co-financed by the European Commission within its Third Health Programme. It is coordinated by Azienda ULSS 6 Euganea (Italy) and has 5 other partners: Azienda ULSS 4 Veneto Orientale (Italy), Ministere de la Sante (Luxembourg), Viestoji Istaiga Centro Poliklinika (Lithuania), Asociata Aer pur Romania (Romania) and Kronikgune (Basque Country). The study will run for 36 months. It seeks to scale-up the good practice CARDIO50, which was implemented in Italy, to Lithuania, Romania and Luxembourg.

CARDIO50 focused on estimating the cardiovascular risk of 50-year-old citizens. The goal is to identify people with inadequate lifestyles and identify new cases of hypertension, hypoglycaemia, and hypercholesterolaemia. It strives to activate an integrated assistance model to help modify or reduce risk factors among healthy people and promote interventions to encourage changes in unhealthy people’s lifestyles. It also seeks to increase knowledge and raise awareness regarding the risks of cardiovascular disease among the general population.

This first assembly focused on reviewing the work method for each work package and presenting the good practices of CARDIO50. Similarly, the current situation of each region in terms of epidemiology and the existing activities for the promotion of cardiovascular health and the prevention of related diseases were analysed. Lastly, this first meeting also reviewed the results to be expected once this practice is implemented in Lithuania, Romania and Luxembourg.

Kronikgune manages the work package: “Analysis of the situation, viability and needs assessment, and definition of the action plans for the implementation”. During the kick-off meeting, it organised a joint workshop, along with the regions that will implement the innovative practices. Aside from analysing and defining the main characteristics of CARDIO50, each of the regions explained the characteristics of the local programmes in terms of the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. At the workshop, they also reached agreements on the most relevant aspects to implement the good practices and defined the next steps when analysing the situation, local prevention programmes and preparation of initiatives for their implementation in each region.

The expected results include the synergies between prevention programmes and the incorporation of prevention efforts for cardiovascular diseases in regional and national health plans in which CARDIO50 good practices are to be implemented. Recommendations and directives will be elaborated to draft strategic lines and plans.