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Our History

The first non-governmental organization dedicated to CVD and still leading the way

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The roots of the World Heart Federation stretch back as far as 1944

The World Heart Federation was originally formed in 1978 by a merger of the International Society of Cardiology (ISC) and the International Cardiology Federation (ICF), under the name of the International Society and Federation of Cardiology (ISFC). In 1998 the ISFC changed its name to the World Heart Federation and since then we have grown to become a cornerstone of the cardiovascular health field, currently working with more than 200 members and partners around the world.

In 1996, an agreement between UNESCO, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Heart Federation instigated ongoing cooperation on different projects, such as the prevention of rheumatic fever and heart disease, Chagas’ disease and risk factors in school-age children in developing countries

The World Heart Federation is now recognized by the World Health Organization as its leading NGO partner in cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and we are a close partner of the World Health Organization’s department of Noncommunicable Diseases.


Presidents of the World Heart Federation

1978-80 John F. Goodwin (founder of ISCP, a merger of ISC & ICF)
1981-82 Henry N. Neufeld
1983-84 Thomas N. James
1985-86 Paul Puech
1987-88 Chuichi Kawai
1989-90 Mario R. Garcia-Palmieri
1991-92 Wilhelm Rutishauser
1993-94 David T. Kelly
1995-96 Elliot Rapaport
1997-99 Antonio Bayes de Luna
1999-00 Tak-Fu Tse
2001-02 Mario F.C. Maranhao
2003-04 Philip Poole-Wilson
2005-06 Valentin Fuster
2007-08 Shahryar A Sheikh
2009-10 Pekka Puska
2011-12 Sidney C. Smith Jr
2013-14 Srinath Reddy
2015-16 Salim Yusuf
2017-18 David Wood
2019-20 Karen Sliwa