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The Roadmap: Italy

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death in Italy, being responsible for 35.8% of all deaths (32.5% in males and 38.8% in females). In particular, data from the Instituto Statistico Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT) show that 230,000 people die each year from ischaemic heart disease, heart attacks, and decompensated heart failure, along with cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke.

CVDs are one of the main reasons for hospitalization and cardiomyopathies are a huge part of this group. Cardiomyopathies are often familial, inherited conditions and they can be diagnosed at all ages. They are responsible for a large proportion of sudden deaths (in people aged below 50 years), arrhythmias, heart failure, and even heart transplantation.

The Cardiomyopathies Matter project in Italy aims to raise awareness about cardiomyopathies and to ensure that they receive the political attention they deserve from the public decision-makers in the national health system. It also aims to raise public attention to these disorders via the media and social media.

Launched in March 2024 during an institutional event at the Senate of the Republic, the Cardiomyopathies Matter Roadmap – Italy explains cardiomyopathies and their impact on patients, their families, and the health system. It also defines policy proposals to improve the care of patients with these conditions and satisfy the unmet needs that exist. It was developed with contributions from experts from the fields of patient advocacy and cardiology.

Expert contributors

Cardiologist

Prof Franco Cecchi

President, AICARM (Italian Association for the study and research of Cardiomyopathies); Former Professor of Cardiology, University of Florence; Former Head of the Cardiomyopathies Reference Center of the Tuscany Region

Prof Iacopo Olivotto

Head of Cardiomyopathy Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence; Head of Pediatric and Transitional Cardiology, Meyer University Children Hospital, Florence, Italy

Prof Giafranco Sinagra

Professor of Cardiology, University of Trieste; Director of the cardiothoracovascular department, Giuliano Isontina University Health Authority (ASUGI); President-elect, Italian Society of Cardiology

Patient representatives

Matteo Pinciroli

Chair, Cardiomyopathy Patient Council, Global Heart Hub; Patient Advocate and Co-Founder, AICARM; Associate Partner, European Patient Advocacy Group, ERN GUARD-Heart

The Foreword of the Roadmap was contributed by MP Elena Murelli, President of the Parliamentary Intergroup on Cardio, Cerebro and Vascular Diseases.

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