Heart Healthy Hoods. A multifaceted approach to cardiovascular diseases in European Cities

Cardiovascular (CV) diseases are the first cause of death in the EU. Given the treatment costs and the high prevalence of risk factors (smoking, physical inactivity, diabetes and hypertension), they account for the largest social and economic burden amongst all diseases. ERC grantee Manuel Franco proposes to measure the food, physical activity, alcohol and tobacco environments of 90 neighbourhoods in Madrid, a city with similar historical and demographic profile as many other European cities, and to correlate the results with cardiovascular primary care health records. A pilot study has already measured the characteristics of the urban areas; the Heart Healthy Hoods project will be able to assess factors such as the location and accessibility of fast food restaurants or green spaces in relation to cardiovascular risk. By combining a rigorous epidemiological design with a social science perspective, the research team hopes to offer a complete portrait of the CV health of a sample of around 2.2 million inhabitants and to also compare it with the situation in the US.

More info about the ERC funded project

Heart Healthy Hoods press links