Every year, 17.1 million lives are claimed by the global burden of heart disease and stroke - 82% of which are in the developing world . The number of deaths – especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) – is alarming and saddening, particularly since through steps such as eating a healthy diet, regular physical activity and avoiding tobacco, the majority of these deaths could be prevented.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of World Heart Day the World Heart Federation launched the ‘State of the Heart’ CVD Report.
The ‘State of the Heart’ CVD Report takes stock of the achievements made in CVD policy, science and medicine, giving a concise and engaging overview of the past 10 years which aims to engage a wide audience of employers, healthcare professionals, policy-makers and other stakeholders.
Over the past decade, the public health and medical communities have been strengthening efforts to fight the growing burden of CVD. However, against the milieu of success, the report is also a reminder that we must not forget that CVD continues to be the number one killer worldwide.
The urgency of the problem is becoming more and more widely recognized. This is why the report aims to identify the challenges lying ahead and makes recommendations as to how these can be addressed.
The report content was identified by an expert panel of representatives, which brought together a wide variety of CVD expertise.
In the first section of the report, the editorial board traces the recent history of heart health, and considers the top 10 achievements made within the past decade, drawing upon the key influences to improvements being made, and presenting case study success stories to which the wider global health community can aspire to.
As identified by the editorial board, key achievements include:
Call to Action
The report also discusses the ongoing barriers to global heart-health that must be addressed, and consider the tools and expertise needed for success in fighting these challenges, particularly in LMICs where the strategies of more developed nations are often harder to implement.
The challenges identified by the panel include the following:
Secure an outcomes statement at the UN High Level Summit on NCDs, taking place in September 2011
Enhance benefits of smoking cessation and implement affordable smoking cessation programmes at the community level
Increase access to affordable, quality essential medicines for CVD in LMICs
Close disparities in CVD health
Increase the prevalence of workplace-wellness initiatives
Integrate CVD prevention, detection and treatment into primary healthcare settings
Increase the CVD health workforce
Strengthen global, regional and national partnerships
Improve data collection and monitoring of care provided to coronary heart disease patients
The report concludes that as part of an ongoing campaign against heart disease and stroke, the World Heart Federation and partner organizations call for a sustained worldwide effort to prevent and control CVD, and encourage immediate endeavours by international organizations, national governments, healthcare professionals and importantly, the general public.