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14/05-12   -   Press releases

Abbott brings together European Healthcare Leaders to discuss solutions to tackle chronic disease and extend healthy life years

Abbott brings together European Healthcare Leaders to discuss solutions to tackle chronic disease and extend healthy life years

Key findings from Economist Intelligence Unit research report “Never too early: tackling chronic disease to extend healthy life years" presented in Brussels

Leading European policymakers, academics and patient association representatives will meet today in Brussels, at an event sponsored by Abbott, the global healthcare company, to discuss solutions to tackling chronic disease within the current demographic shift towards an increasingly ageing population in Europe.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), two out of three Europeans who have reached retirement age have had at least two chronic conditions. Chronic diseases account for over 86% of deaths in the EU according to the Chronic Disease Alliance and between 70 to 80% of healthcare spending in European countries, according to the European Public Health Alliance. Much of the current debate around extending healthy life years focuses on improving care for people over 65 years of age. One of the crucial drivers of healthy longevity is ensuring individuals are in good health as they reach old age.

In order to inform the European Innovation Partnership and Healthy Ageing debate, Abbott commissioned a research report by the Economist Intelligence Unit on extending healthy life years. The research report presented in Brussels, entitled “Never too early: tackling chronic disease to extend healthy life years," looks at new approaches to disease prevention, early intervention and management of chronic diseases.

"Tackling chronic disease early, before it dominates the last decades of our lives, is crucial if ageing is to be an opportunity for Europe and not a burden," says Delia Meth-Cohn, Economist Intelligence Unit Editorial Director for Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa. "But while prevention sounds simple, it goes far beyond lifestyle changes and requires a new level of cooperation both within and outside the healthcare system," she adds.

Discussions at the meeting will focus on measures that can be taken to refocus healthcare systems from end of life acute care towards preventative healthcare. The event includes presentations from Christofer Fjellner, Member of European Parliament; Petra Leroy Čadová, European Commission Policy Officer; Professor Walter Ricciardi, President of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and Sean Sullivan, President of the Institute for Health and Productivity Management.

“Life-long prevention and integrated care of chronic diseases needs to be embraced to extend the healthy life years of European citizens. New solutions are required to improve outcomes for patients and society and to ensure the sustainability of healthcare systems. This will only be achieved if industry, government and patients work hand in hand," says Pascale Richetta, vice president Western Europe and Canada, Abbott Proprietary Pharmaceuticals.

Find out more about the Economist Intelligence Unit report on extending healthy life years at

About Abbott
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 91,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott´s news releases and other information are available on the company´s website at

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