What are you doing for your arteries today?


VascAgeNet to organise second edition of World Vascular Ageing Week this May.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, with one in three deaths being attributable to CVD. Prevention of CVD is a public health priority, we need to identify individuals at increased cardiovascular risk at an early stage to reduce both the health and economic burden of CVD.

Vascular ageing is a process that can capture these early stages of health degeneration. It involves the deterioration in blood vessel structure and function over time, which ultimately leads to organ damage in the heart, brain and kidney. Vascular age is better related to the prognosis of CVD compared to chronological age. If you have a vascular age that is older that it should be, you are at an increased risk of developing CVD and having an event (such as a heart attack or stroke). 

COST Action VascAgeNet has established a network of scientists, clinicians, engineers, and Industry partners working to refine, harmonise, and promote the use of vascular ageing measures, in order to improve clinical practice and to reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases globally.

“A large part of our work is centred around education and awareness. Most people do not know if they have early or accelerated vascular ageing until it is too late. One of our aims is to promote a vascular ageing culture and to propagate the use of technologies and preventative strategies, fostering solutions feasible in low income countries.”

Dr Christopher Mayer, Chair of VascAgeNet

World Vascular Ageing Week: 8-12 May 2023

Text: World Vascular Ageing week. May 8th-12th 2023. With logos of May Measure Month, VascAgeNet, COST, and the Artery Society

To help address this VascAgeNet created the awareness week World Vascular Ageing Week. The second edition will take place shortly from May 8th to May 12th 2023 to coincide with a VascAgeNet Training School and Working Group meeting in Cyprus.

Partnering with the Artery Society and May Measurement Month, the awareness week centres around a social media campaign, asking people to post photos of what they do to keep their heart and arteries healthy using the hashtag #vascularage23 with advice and tips being provided by the experts from the VascAgeNet network.

“World Vascular Ageing Week is so important for the VascAgeNet community. The impact of our first edition back in 2022 was phenomenal, we never imagined that we would have had so much public engagement. 37 countries participated, hundreds of social media posts, we were also amazed at the response to our children’s drawing competition that had >100 fantastic entries from children aged 4-13. We’re hoping that this year we succeed in reaching even more people to help spread awareness on vascular ageing.”

Dr Chloe Park, Science Communication Coordinator for VascAgeNet

A few examples of public engagement during World Vascular Age Week last year:

How can you get involved?

Each day of World Vascular Ageing Week will be focused on different risk factors associated with early vascular ageing such as smoking, alcohol, exercising, diet, stress, and sleep.

As the vascular ageing process starts from early life, VascAgeNet also want to raise awareness from a young age. During the week, they will introduce their ‘Science Buddy’ letterbox which is a dedicated area of the VascAgeNet website where children can ask questions related to the heart and arteries. The Science Buddy programme has also recently created a ‘Super Heart Adventure’ animation co-created with children for children to explain how to keep their cardiovascular system healthy. This animation is available in several languages:

To get involved are share what you’re doing for your arteries today:

  • Take a photo/selfie of what you do to keep your heart and blood vessels heathy
  • Upload your photo to social media (Twitter, Facebook or Instagram) from May 8th to May 12th
  • Tag VascAgeNet and Artery Society in your photo and use the hashtags #vascularage23

Additional information 

Read ‘Vascular ageing: moving from bench towards bedside’, a recently published review outlining importance of routine measurement of VA: https://doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwad028

World Vascular Ageing Week 2023

View the Action webpage

View the new network website

Follow VascAgeNet on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram