Navarese EP, Grzelakowska K, Mangini F, Kubica J, Banach M, Benn M, Binder CJ, Borén J, Catapano A, Kronenberg F, Mallat Z, Moulin P, Öörni K, Ray KK, Roeters van Lennep JE, Romeo S, Tokgozoglu L, von Eckardstein A, Zambon A, Raggi P
Atherosclerosis - (-) - [2022-05-21; online 2022-05-21]
The healthcare system of Ukraine was already suffering from several shortfalls before February 2022, but the war of aggression started by the Russian leadership is poised to inflict a further severe blow that will have long-lasting consequences for the health of all Ukrainians. In pre-war Ukraine, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) contributed to 91% of deaths, especially cardiovascular diseases (67%). Ukrainians have a high prevalence of risk factors for NCDs ranking among the highest levels reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the European (EU) Region. Cardiovascular disease is one of the key health risks for the conflict-affected Ukrainian population due to significant limitations in access to health care and interruptions in the supply of medicines and resources. The excess mortality observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to a combination of viral illness and chronic disease states, is bound to increase exponentially from poorly treated NCDs. In this report, we discuss the impact of the war on the public health of Ukraine and potential interventions to provide remote health assistance to the Ukrainian population.