Changing Cardiovascular Health. National Cardiovascular Health Policy 2010-2019

The Cardiovascular Health Policy Group was established with the following terms of reference: Having regard to the audit of the implementation of the cardiovascular health strategy, Building Healthier Hearts, and the audit of stroke services, Irish National Audit of Stroke Care, and consistent with developments in relation to the management of chronic diseases and the Primary Care Strategy, to develop a policy framework for the prevention, detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and peripheral arterial disease, which will ensure an integrated and quality-assured approach in their management. This new cardiovascular policy, Changing Cardiovascular Health covering the period 2010-2019, comes a decade after the first national cardiovascular health strategy, entitled Building Healthier Hearts, was published by the Department of Health in 1999. The new policy is timely given the pace of scientific discovery and related changes in medical practice, changes in health service structures, and patterns and influences on population health behaviours in Ireland over the decade. Cardiovascular health and its maintenance is a microcosm of health more generally. A policy that can improve cardiovascular health and cardiovascular disease management will have beneficial effects for the whole healthcare system and population.