Conference “Preventing chronic diseases for a healthier Europe:
the case of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases”
Brussels, 16 October 2012
On 16 October 2012, EULAR co-organised a half-day conference on prevention of chronic diseases together with EFORT (European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology).
The aim of the event was to discuss on EU and national initiatives aiming to improve the prevention of chronic conditions and, in particular, the prevention of RMDs. It also aims at developing concrete recommendations to EU and Member States’ institutions on how to improve the prevention of chronic conditions.
Prevention of chronic conditions is a crucial concern in public health. Policy makers at the EU and national levels, as well as health professionals and patient organisations have for a long time discussed on the need to foster disease prevention in Europe.
Preventing risk factors, and therefore preventing the outbreak and/or development of chronic conditions, is not only beneficial for the lives and quality of life of millions of people in Europe. It is of utmost importance for the sustainability and efficiency of the healthcare and social security systems, as it is largely demonstrated that treating and managing diseases is far more costly than investing in prevention. Additionally, prevention of diseases also reduces disability and impairment, and therefore it reduces the enormous burden of chronic conditions on our economies.
Improving primary and secondary prevention is particularly important for those diseases representing a high burden on individuals, economies and societies, such as rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). RMDs are indeed one of the most prevalent, disabling and costly chronic, non-communicable conditions affecting EU citizens, and are the main cause of reduced mobility and dependency among the elderly. Moreover, the large experience in developing and promoting preventive strategies for RMDs can be used as example for other disease areas.
In this sense, the conference aimed at bringing together policy makers, experts and stakeholders to discuss on how the EU, Member States and other organisations could improve the prevention of chronic diseases, in particular RMDs.