World Heart Federation urges action on cardiovascular health

World Heart Day is on 29 September

NEW YORK– The World Heart Federation (WHF) has issued a global policy call to governments to implement surveillance and monitoring systems for CVD to better prevent, treat and control the world’s biggest killer.

CVD is the leading cause of death globally, claiming 17.5 million lives each year. However, at least 80% of premature deaths from CVD could be avoided[1] by addressing behavioural risk factors and using simple treatments after a heart attack or stroke.

The call to policymakers and governments has been made today at World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Hearts Initiative meeting. The Initiative will help governments to implement both population-level and clinical interventions to reduce CVD rates.

WHF points to three practical steps that policymakers can take to collect reliable data to form accurate and impactful policy around CVD:

  1. Strengthen vital registration and cause of death registration systems
  2. Include coverage of CVD key interventions into existing health information systems
  3. Collect information on a representative subsample of the population on the prevalence and quality of care of patients with hypertension and CVD; and undertake periodic data collection on the behavioural and metabolic risk factors (harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, overweight and obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, and hyperlipidemia), and determinants of risk exposure such as marketing of food, tobacco and alcohol in a sub sample of the population.

On World Heart Day, WHF will also launch its policy brief which identifies gaps and needs in global CVD monitoring and surveillance systems.

Dr Salim Yusuf, President, WHF, says: “We know that robust monitoring and surveillance are key to guiding what policies and strategies we implement and whether they are successful in reducing CVD rates. Countries that measure these rates are also the ones which demonstrate the greatest reductions in CVD.

“We are calling on governments to reinforce their commitment to preventing premature deaths by taking some key steps toward better surveillance of their populations.”

Show your support for World Heart Day by tweeting @worldheartfed with your #HealthyHeartSelfie. – USNewswire

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