Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway 

The Gateway recently published a series of briefs on Dietary Salt, Dietary Fats as well as Alcoholic Beverages. Knowledge Gateway briefs include useful and well-structured information on critical issues.

You will find reliable, independent and up-to date information on topics related to the promotion of health and well-being, in particular the prevention of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

To read more about these briefs go to: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway – European Commission

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway

This Gateway is a reference point for public health policy makers, offering reliable, independent and up-to date information on topics related to the promotion of health and well-being, in particular the prevention of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

It provides short, impactful and concise briefs for each topic, focusing on the aspects most relevant to policy makers. The topics covered in this Knowledge Gateway were prioritised by EU decision makers working in the areas of public health and prevention of non-communicable diseases. The content is to be updated periodically and new Briefs will be added regularly to reflect developments in the field and respond to the needs of EU policy makers.

To visit the Knowledge Gateway

European Cancer Information System

ECIS provides the latest information on indicators that quantify the cancer burden across Europe. It permits the exploration of geographical patterns and temporal trends of incidence, mortality and survival data across Europe for the major cancer entities.

The purpose of the web-application is to support research as well as public-health decision-making in the field of cancer and to serve as a point of reference and information for European citizens.

For more information, go to ECIS

Alcohol ‘best buys’ by the WHO

Nearly 6% of all deaths worldwide were attributable to alcohol in 2012, with more than half caused by non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, liver disease and mental health disorders.

In the EU alone in 2014, 72,000 deaths due to alcohol-related diseases could have been avoided and globally it is estimated that 5.1% of the burden of disease as measured in disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) is attributed to alcohol consumption.

The World Health Organization has identified three priority actions for alcohol policy called their ‘Best Buys’:

  • Using taxation to help regulate demand for alcoholic beverages
  • Restrictions on the availability of alcoholic beverages
  • Comprehensive restrictions or bans on alcohol advertising.

To read the full article on the EPHA website: Why Europe urgently needs to buy into the alcohol ‘best buys’ 

Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases 

To support countries in reaching the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Commission has established a Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases.

The Steering Group will have a broad overview of public health policy and may set up subgroups to work on specific issues for limited time periods. Therefore, existing Commission expert groups set up for particular diseases, for example, those on cancer control and rare diseases, will now be replaced by the Steering Group.

In practice, the Steering Group will provide expert advice to the Commission on developing and implementing activities in the field of health promotion, disease prevention and the management of non-communicable diseases. It will also foster exchanges of relevant experience, policies and practices between the Member States.

To read more about this on the European Commission website, go to: Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases – European Commission

New call for proposals for projects

The Call “Implementation of best practices to promote health and prevent non-communicable diseases and to reduce health inequalities” implements the Annual Work-Programme 2018 of the third programme for the Union’s action in the field of health (2014-2020) which sets out details of the financing mechanisms and priority areas for action.

Proposals can be submitted electronically via the Electronic Exchange System of the EU Research & Innovation Participant Portal. The deadline for submission is 13 September 2018. 

For more information go to: http://ec.europa.eu/chafea/health/projects.html

Noncommunicable diseases – 45 successful years in Finland

In 1972, Finland had the highest rate of coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in the world, and the region of North Karelia in eastern Finland had the highest rate in the country. To address this issue, the region initiated what is known as the North Karelia Project, a far-reaching, community-based intervention that aims to reduce CHD mortality by encouraging healthier habits and cutting down on risk factors such as high cholesterol intake and smoking.

The project is still active today and has produced remarkable results. During the 40-year period from 1972 to 2012, CHD mortality in North Karelia decreased by 82% among working-age men and 84% among women.

To read more about Finland’s method of reducing noncommunicable diseases from the euro.who.int website

Autism spectrum disorders

According to the latest factsheet from the WHO, 1 in 160 children world-wide has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and for most of them, the condition becomes apparent during the first 5 years of life.

ASD refers to a range of conditions characterised by some degree of impaired social behaviour, communication and language, and a narrow range of interests and activities that are both unique to the individual and carried out repetitively. ASDs begin in childhood and tend to persist into adolescence and adulthood.

For more information about autism spectrum disorders and to download the Parent Skills Training Package on the who.int website

Breast implants

The European Commission and its Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) has published two Scientific Advices related to breast implants and health. They are on 1) new scientific information on the safety of PIP breast implants and 2) the possible association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).

The first piece of advice concerns whether there is sufficient new scientific information on the safety of PIP breast implants to warrant an update of the 2014 SCENIHR Opinion and based on the scientific information it has gathered and evaluated, the SCHEER concludes that this is not the case at present.

The second piece of advice is on the state of scientific knowledge on a possible association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). The SCHEER concluded that, at present, there is insufficient scientific information available to establish a methodologically robust risk assessment on the potential association of breast implants with the development of ALCL.

To download the full advice on the safety of PIP breast implants from the ec.europa.eu website

To download the full advice on the association between breast implants and ALCL from the ec.europa.eu website