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OBJECTIVE: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death across Europe. We estimated lost earnings (productivity losses) associated with premature mortality due to CVD, and separately for its main sub-categories of coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, across 54 country members of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). METHODS & RESULTS: We used a standardised approach to estimate working years and earnings lost due to premature death resulting from CVD across the 54 ESC member countries in 2018. Our population-based approach was based on national data on the number of deaths, employment rates and earnings by age group and sex. We discounted future working years and earnings lost to present values using a 3·5% annual rate. In 2018, there were 4.4 million deaths due to CVD across the 54 countries, with 7.1 million working years lost. This represented productivity losses due to premature death of €62 billion in 2018. Deaths due to coronary heart disease accounted for 47% (€29 billion) of all CVD costs, and cerebrovascular disease accounted for 18% (€11 billion). Approximately 60% (€37 billion) of all productivity losses occurred in the 28 EU-member states, despite accounting for only 42% (1.8 million) of deaths and 21% (1.5 million) of working years lost across the 54 countries. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides a snapshot of the economic consequences posed by premature mortality due to CVD across 54 countries in 2018. The considerable variation across countries highlights the potential gains from policies targeting prevention and care of cardiovascular diseases.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes

Publication Date



Cardiovascular disease, Coronary heart disease, Cost, Mortality, Stroke