Cardiovascular disease

We want to protect millions of lives by eliminating cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and stopping disease progression

An estimated 17.9 million people worldwide die of heart disease (also called coronary artery disease) every year, accounting for nearly one third of all global deaths.1 Heart diseases remain a leading cause of death, affecting more men than women.2 For those who survive, it may often be the start of a journey into declining cardiovascular health. This underlines the importance of rehabilitation and patient support, especially since up to 20% who had a myocardial infarction (MI) – a heart attack – go on to have a subsequent MI, stroke or cardiovascular death within the first year.3


Addressing cardiovascular disease and other CVRM diseases

The hardships of patients with cardiovascular disease are experiencing, including physical and emotional burdens, have become the driving force behind our ambition to eliminate risk factors and stop disease progression. Science is uncovering the commonalities between cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases (CVRM) which is at the core of our approach towards holistic care for CVRM patients. While secondary prevention is essential for treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease, we aim to go further and treat patients as a whole.


The patient experience

Life after a heart attack

No one should go through the horror of experiencing a second heart attack, but even after a year, risk remains.3,11-13

Surviving a myocardial infarction (MI) is a distressing and life-changing experience for patients. It can leave people feeling worried and scared of potentially going through another episode. Although maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is a key factor in reducing the persistent risk of a second heart attack,14 even simple tasks such as climbing stairs, can be a daunting activity, with the fear of another episode looming.15,16


Protecting patients with cardiovascular disease

Every day, we are already making a difference in patients with coronary artery disease, including those who previously experienced a heart attack, by helping prevent them from going through life-threatening cardiovascular events. However, there is an urgent need for new and holistic approaches that do more to help reduce CV morbidity in patients with coronary artery disease and type-2 diabetes. We aim to protect patient lives and address the importance of long-term treatment of heart attack survivors to prevent secondary occurrences.



of all global deaths are caused by cardiovascular diseases1

~7.29 million 

heart attacks occurred globally in 20152


of people who were event-free for the first year after a myocardial infarction, experienced a second cardiovascular event within a 3-year period3

22% expected increase

in global cost of cardiovascular disease, from $863 billion in 2010 to $1.04 trillion in 203018

Up to 9-fold increase

in incidence of subsequent CV events (in patients who’ve previously had a heart attack) if five cardiovascular risk factors are present (+65 years, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, multivessel disease, prior MI) compared to patients with only one risk factor8

Our commitment

Today, we are focusing on developing cardiovascular disease treatments to reach even more patients. Together with initiatives like and our established collaborations with external partners, we aim to go beyond the success of our therapies to help eliminate cardiovascular risk and support secondary event prevention.


Discover more about CVRM


  1. World Health Organization. WHO World Heart Day: Scale up prevention of heart attack and stroke: World Health Organization. 2019. Available from URL: [Accessed 19 February 2019].
  2. Roth G, et al. Global, Regional, and National Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases for 10 Causes, 1990 to 2015. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;70(1):1-25.
  3. Jernberg T, et al. Cardiovascular risk in post-myocardial infarction patients: nationwide real world data demonstrate the importance of a long-term perspective. Eur Heart J. 2015;36(19):1163–70.
  4. Knuuti J et al. 2019 ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of chronic coronary syndromes. Eur Heart J 2019.
  5. American Heart Association. Atherosclerosis; 2017 [cited 2019 Feb 19]. Available from: URL:
  6. Bartnik M, et al. The prevalence of abnormal glucose regulation in patients with coronary artery disease across Europe. The Euro Heart Survey on diabetes and the heart. Eur Heart J. 2004;25(21):1880–90.
  7. Cavender MA, et al. Impact of Diabetes Mellitus on Hospitalization for Heart Failure, Cardiovascular Events, and Death: Outcomes at 4 Years from the Reduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health (REACH) Registry. Circulation. 2015;132(10):923–31.
  8. Lindholm D, et al. Association of key risk factors and their combinations on ischemic outcomes in patients with invasively managed myocardial infarction in Sweden. Presented at: ESC Congress 2018, 2018 Aug 25-29, Munich, Germany.
  9. United States Renal Data System. 2018 USRDS annual data report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Chapter 9: Cardiovascular Disease in Patients With ESRD; 2018. Available from: URL:
  10. United States Renal Data System. 2018 USRDS annual data report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Chapter 9: Cardiovascular Disease in Patients With ESRD. 2018. Available from URL:
  11. Bhatt DL, et al. Comparative determinants of 4-year cardiovascular event rates in stable outpatients at risk of or with atherothrombosis. JAMA. 2010;304(12):1350-7.
  12. Fox KA, et al. Underestimated and under-recognized: the late consequences of acute coronary syndrome (GRACE UK–Belgian Study). Eur Heart J. 2010;31(22):2755-64.
  13. Nakatani D, et al. Incidence, predictors, and subsequent mortality risk of recurrent myocardial infarction in patients following discharge for acute myocardial infarction. Circ J. 2013;77(2):439-46.
  14. American Heart Association. Lifestyle Changes for Heart Attack Prevention. 2015. Available from URL: [Accessed 19 April 2019].
  15. National Health Service. Prevention: Heart attack. Available from URL: [Accessed 1 July 2019].
  16. Heart attack. Available from URL: [Accessed 1 July 2019].
  17. American Heart Association. Life After a Heart Attack. 2016. Available from URL: [Accessed 9 April 2019].
  18. Bloom DE, et al. The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases. Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum (cited 2018 Aug 6). Available from URL:
  19. Di Palo KE, et al. Implementation of a Patient Navigator Program to Reduce 30-day Heart Failure Readmission Rate. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2017;60(2):259-66.
  20. Zeymer, U. 2019. Neues Versorgungsforschungsprojekt GULLIVE-R zur Langzeitversorgung von Herzinfarkt-Patienten in Deutschland. DGK Pressemitteilung, 25. April 2019. Available at: [Accessed 09 Sept. 2019]