The burden of chronic disease is staggering: 86% of all deaths, or 4 million per year, are related to chronic diseases in Europe.
Chronic diseases develop slowly, are long-lasting and often incurable. They have caused great human suffering and placed an enormous burden on health systems as well. 70% to 80% of all healthcare costs in the EU – an estimated €700 billion – are currently spent on chronic diseases. In addition, chronic diseases completely stop many people from being able to work and nearly a quarter of those who do work – 23.5% – suffer from a chronic condition.
by Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General of the Directorate for Health and Food Safety, European Commission