The heart

How can we keep the most important organ in the body healthy? In the Netherlands about 1.5 million people suffer from chronic cardiovascular disease. ZonMw is funding research into the prevention of this disease, improved medication, treatment and rehabilitation. Below we describe a number of ongoing and completed studies.

In heart disease, choosing the right drug or therapy is essential

The right drug or therapy, at the right moment, in the patient who needs it: the safe, effective, and efficient use of existing drugs and new therapies needs targeted research into cardiovascular disease. The Good Use of Medicines programme includes every facet of research into existing drugs, while translational research leads promising fundamental research towards real-world applications.

Every cardiovascular disease requires its own specific treatment

The treatment of cardiovascular disease is increasingly looking at individualised options. Research into these options is being funded through a number of ZonMw programmes.

Healthy living reduces the likelihood of cardiovascular disease

A healthy lifestyle is important to staying healthy, and reduces the likelihood of chronic health complaints such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Together with the Dutch Heart Foundation we are investing in lifestyle knowledge development, as lifestyle also influences a healthy heart and circulatory system. Researchers are developing innovative ways to help people maintain healthy habits.

Research projects on healthier lifestyle and rehabilitation have been included in the programmes on prevention (healthy living: good for your heart), early detection and effectiveness research.

A woman’s heart is different from a man’s

Male and female bodies are different. As test subjects in the past were often men, there is a comparative lack of knowledge of the female body. This means that cardiovascular disease more often goes undetected in women, and its treatment and prevention is less appropriate to women. In recent years we have taken important steps to reduce the health differences between men and women through two ZonMw programmes, on gender and health, and gender and prevention. We are committed to an improved understanding of the differences between men and women in cardiovascular disease, so that we can work towards individualised treatment for everyone.


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