Geneva –In celebration of the second anniversary of the United Nations (UN) High Level Summit, and as a follow up to last year’s presidential advisory, the Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce is making a call to world leaders to continue the progress made on addressing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and CVD. Just two years ago heads of state met in New York and made a global commitment to reduce NCD deaths, which amount to 36 million a year and is estimated to grow to 55 million by 2030. Applauding successes to date – which include the adoption of global targets and indicators to address NCDs, including a 25 percent reduction in premature global mortality by 2025, and the agreement of a Global Action Plan for NCDs, which includes these targets and indicators – the Taskforce maintains that momentum must continue with the CVD community taking the lead. Representing nearly half of all NCD deaths, CVD continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide.
“These targets are hard fought triumphs for us, not only in the CVD community, but in the health community,” states Taskforce member and Writing Group Chair, Professor Sidney C. Smith, Jr. “We need to ensure, however, that they are actualized. Strong advocacy and global action has ensured that a global architecture is now in place to make governments accountable on their progress in regards to NCDs. Moving from the political to the practical requires that NCDs are recognized as a development priority as the world reassess the Millennium Development Goals, and that governments actively move towards national health and economic plans that address and incorporate the NCD targets and indicators.”
As about 80 per cent of NCD deaths are in low- and middle-income countries ,where human and financial resources are most limited to address them, has ensured global attention. Work at the national level, however, remains a priority. As countries now take these targets and integrate them into their national health plans, the Taskforce believes that the CVD community will play a key role in ensuring that progress is measurable.
Aligning efforts under the “25 by 25” target, the Taskforce has set commitments for themselves and asks the CVD community to join them in coordinating and shaping strong national plans that will address the leading risk factors of raised blood pressure, tobacco use, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating, and improve secondary prevention and rehabilitation of CVD.
The CVD Taskforce paper is released ahead of World Heart Day on September 29, when supporters worldwide will be taking part in activities to address one of the main risk factors of physical inactivity, and to support the World Heart Federation’s global target of reducing CVD deaths 25 percent by 2025.
About the Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce
The Taskforce is led by the World Heart Federation and is a collaboration between: American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology Foundation, European Society of Cardiology and European Heart Network. The Taskforce will be expanded to include the African Heart Network, Asia Pacific Heart Network, Asia Pacific Society of Cardiology, InterAmerican Heart Foundation, InterAmerican Society of Cardiology, and Pan African Society of Cardiology.
The CVD Taskforce paper can be downloaded via the journal Global Heart. The position paper will also be published simultaneously in the journals of the Taskforce members: Circulation, European Heart Journal, Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
About the World Heart Federation
The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against heart disease and stroke, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries, via a united community of more than 200 member organizations. With its members, the World Heart Federation works to build global commitment to addressing cardiovascular health at the policy level, generates and exchanges ideas, shares best practice, advances scientific knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer to tackle cardiovascular disease – the world’s number one killer. It is a growing membership organization that brings together the strength of cardiac societies and heart foundations from more than 100 countries. Through our collective efforts we can help people all over the world to lead longer and better heart-healthy lives. For more information, please visit: www.worldheart.org; twitter.com/worldheartfed; facebook.com/worldheartfederation.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the American College of Cardiology
The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 40,000-member nonprofit medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at www.cardiosource.org/ACC.
About the European Heart Network
The European Heart Network (EHN) is a Brussels-based alliance of heart foundations and likeminded non-governmental organisations throughout Europe, with member organisations in 24 countries. The EHN plays a leading role in the prevention and reduction of cardiovascular diseases, in particular heart disease and stroke, through advocacy, networking, education and patient support, so that they are no longer a major cause of premature death and disability throughout Europe. For more information, please visit www.ehnheart.org.
About the European Society of Cardiology
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 75,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe. For more information, please visit www.escardio.org.
For more information and interviews please contact:
Amy Collins, Advocacy and Communications
World Heart Federation