Trends in cardiovascular diseases burden and vascular risk factors in Italy: The Global Burden of Disease study 1990–2017

on behalf of the GBD 2017 Italy Cardiovascular Diseases Collaborators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: An exhaustive and updated estimation of cardiovascular disease burden and vascular risk factors is still lacking in European countries. This study aims to fill this gap assessing the global Italian cardiovascular disease burden and its changes from 1990 to 2017 and comparing the Italian situation with European countries. Methods: All accessible data sources from the 2017 Global Burden of Disease study were used to estimate the cardiovascular disease prevalence, mortality and disability-adjusted life years and cardiovascular disease attributable risk factors burden in Italy from 1990 to 2017. Furthermore, we compared the cardiovascular disease burden within the 28 European Union countries. Results: Since 1990, we observed a significant decrease of cardiovascular disease burden, particularly in the age-standardised prevalence (–12.7%), mortality rate (–53.8%), and disability-adjusted life years rate (–55.5%). Similar improvements were observed in the majority of European countries. However, we found an increase in all-ages prevalence of cardiovascular diseases from 5.75 m to 7.49 m Italian residents. Cardiovascular diseases still remain the first cause of death (34.8% of total mortality). More than 80% of the cardiovascular disease burden could be attributed to known modifiable risk factors such as high systolic blood pressure, dietary risks, high low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and impaired kidney function. Conclusions: Our study shows a decline in cardiovascular mortality and disability-adjusted life years, which reflects the success in reducing disability, premature death and early incidence of cardiovascular diseases. However, the burden of cardiovascular diseases is still high. An approach that includes the cooperation and coordination of all stakeholders of the Italian National Health System is required to further reduce this burden.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • burden of diseases
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • disability-adjusted life years
  • mortality
  • prevalence
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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