Launch of the Joint Action on Chronic Diseases

The official launch of the new Joint Action on Chronic Diseases, CHRODIS-JA, takes place on 29-31 January in Madrid, Spain. EPF Programme Manager, Liuska Sanna, will represent EPF as we are an associate partner of this project.

European societies are growing older. By 2060 the number of Europeans over 65 is expected to double from 88 to 152 million, meaning the population of senior citizens will be twice that of children under 15.

The proportion of years lived in poor health is also increasing. On average in the EU, 20% of our lifespan is spent in ill-health – and for people over 65 this means being unwell, on average, for half of their remaining lives.

Much of the burden caused by chronic conditions is preventable and this where CHRODIS-JA enters the scene. Tackling chronic diseases and ensuring the future sustainability of European health systems will require greater investment in prevention and health promotion.

The Joint Action will look at exchanging and scaling-up best practices in these areas. It will mainly focus on cardiovascular diseases including stroke and diabetes acting on common risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol, nutrition and physical activity.

Patient empowerment will therefore be at the core of this project led by the Institute of Health Carlos III, the main public research entity in Spain. Health literacy and the capacity of patients to manage their own health are key components in this.

“We believe this initiative will foster greater collaboration to tackle the challenge of chronic disease in Europe. It will also change the way healthcare is delivered as this needs to be addressed in a holistic way to empower patients, reduce the disease burden and optimise the use of healthcare resources” said Liuska Sanna, in charge of the project at EPF.

This collaboration will build on the policy work we did around the ‘reflection process on chronic diseases’ initiated by the European Commission and member states (see paper, 2012).

For more information, please contact Liuska Sanna, at