Heart diseases and strokes cause over 1.8 million deaths in the EU


© ananaline /

Diseases of the circulatory system were the cause of death for 1.833 million people in the European Union (EU) in 2014. This constituted over a third (37%) of all deaths in the EU.

Women (994 600 deaths) were slightly more affected than men (838 100). In addition, fatal heart diseases and strokes were responsible for 40% of all deaths of the EU population aged 65 and over, and for below a quarter (22%) for the younger population (those aged less than 65).

Heart attacks remained the main type of fatal heart diseases in the EU and led to the death of almost 623 100 people (equal to 34% of all deaths caused by diseases of the circulatory system), while strokes killed nearly 422 000 people (23%).

This news item marks today's World Heart Day.

Porportion of deaths due to diseases of the circulatory system, 2014

The source dataset can be found here.


Highest share of deaths due to heart diseases and strokes in Bulgaria, lowest in Denmark and France

Heart diseases and strokes were the cause of two-thirds of all deaths in Bulgaria (66%) and of more than 1 in 2 of all deaths in Romania (59%), Latvia (57%), Lithuania (56%), Estonia (53%) and Hungary (50%).

In contrast, diseases of the circulatory system accounted for a quarter or less of all causes of death in Denmark (24%) and France (25%), and for less than a third in the United Kingdom (27%), the Netherlands (28%), Belgium (29%), Ireland and Spain (both 30%) as well as Luxembourg and Portugal (both 31%).

In nearly every EU Member State, diseases of the circulatory system killed more women than men. Slovenia (60%), Estonia (59%), Latvia, Lithuania, Austria (all 58%) and (57%) were the EU Member States which recorded the largest percentages of women among all fatal heart diseases and strokes in 2014.