Public Release: 

Calling for standards in cardiology data collection and analysis

Irish Minister for Health and Children opens CARDS

European Society of Cardiology

Cork, Ireland, 10 May 2004: The Irish Minister for Health and Children, Michael Martin TD, today opened the European meeting on Cardiology Audit and Registration Data Standards (CARDS) in Cork, Ireland, by calling for consistency across Europe in terms of data collection and analysis in cardiology.

With cardiovascular disease highlighted by the Irish Department of Health and Children as a priority during the Irish Presidency of the European Union, the CARDS meeting is the latest in a series of initiatives to address the growing problem of cardiovascular disease in Europe. This topic is especially pertinent with the recent addition of the Accession States to the European Union, many of which have particular challenges in this area of public health.

Michael Martin TD states, "The European Union provides an ideal forum for Member States to discuss and agree areas of common concern. In health, a key area of commonality is cardiovascular disease - Europe's most prolific killer and largest cause of illness".

Mr Martin continues, "While existing cardiology databases share similar aims, there is no European agreement on which variables to collect in specific service locations and no agreed definitions for most of the data fields. As a consequence, the important benefits of collation and comparison of data from different sources are lost. This CARDS conference sets out to agree European data standards, to provide a basis for the collection of comparable data in cardiology databases and registries".

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is one of the key partners in the CARDS meeting and initiative, drawing upon its experience and network as a professional association of 47 National Cardiac Societies across central and greater Europe.

At the CARDS meeting, the ESC has been invited to present its Euro Heart Survey as a case study of a successful pan-European survey programme enabling local, national and international comparisons of data using set standards in the database fields, terminology and variables.

Professor Jean-Pierre Bassand, President of the ESC, states, "The standardisation of database criteria is crucial to enabling comparisons, whether on a regional, national or international level. National or regional variations in data standards limit the ability to compare and contrast the data collected."

"We the ESC are delighted to be involved in the CARDS initiative and to offer our experience, expertise and ongoing stewardship to the European Union in addressing what is our common goal and the set mission of the ESC - to improve the quality of the life of the European population by reducing the impact of cardiovascular disease", continues Professor Bassand.

It is expected that CARDS will pave the way for medical societies to develop uniform data registries, agreed upon by physicians, healthcare administrations and the medical industry across the 25 member states of the European Union.


Notes to editors:

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC)
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) comprises 47 National Cardiac Societies, representing more than 45,000 cardiology professionals across central and greater Europe.

The mission of the ESC is 'to improve the quality of life of the European population by reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease'.

The ESC is committed to setting the standard of cardiology practice in Europe and achieves this through conducting surveys, rolling out educational programmes and setting official guidelines on clinical practice and prevention programmes.

The annual ESC Congress is the largest medical meeting in Europe with an attendance of over 25,000. In parallel to the ESC Congress, the ESC stages an annual public communication event on cardiovascular disease prevention entitled For Your Heart's Sake. The next ESC Congress and For Your Heart's Sake will be held in late August 2004 in Munich, Germany.

For further information please see the ESC website at

Cardiology Audit and Registration Data Standards (CARDS)
The CARDS meeting has been organised by the Irish Department of Health and Children during the Irish Presidency of the European Union, in partnership with the ESC and the Irish Cardiac Society. Funding to support the CARDS meeting has been received under the Public Health Programme of the European Commission.

For further information on CARDS and the Irish Department of Health and Children's commitment to cardiovascular disease minimisation see

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