Tackling CVD Around the Globe Through Heart-Healthy Environments
This post was authored by William A. Zoghbi, MD, MACC, past president of the ACC and co-chair of the Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce.
Today we celebrate World Heart Day, a global initiative created by the World Heart Federation to better educate citizens about the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
As next year will see the selection of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals – the successor to the organization’s Millennium Development Goals that will set the global health and development strategy for the next 15 years – it is vital that the College and the cardiovascular community do all they can to ensure that cardiovascular disease and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are included and prioritized on this agenda.
As mentioned in a statement published last week by the Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce – which includes representatives from the ACC, Asia Pacific Heart Network, American Heart Association, InterAmerican Society of Cardiology, InterAmerican Heart Foundation, World Heart Federation, African Heart Network, European Heart Network, European Society of Cardiology, Pan-African Society of Cardiology, and the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology – the cardiovascular diseases community has a rare opportunity over the next few months to convince international bodies to devote appropriate resources to curb the rise of NCDs.
This year’s World Heart Day will undoubtedly help bring this awareness to the forefront, centering itself around a challenge that targets many areas outside the sector of health. Despite the fact that the majority of cardiovascular disease is caused by the food we eat, levels of physical activity and where we live, we often do not take into account how our surrounding food options, our ability to get from place to place, and the actual design of our community can affect our ability to make the right choices for better heart health. As a result, this year’s World Heart Day theme is “Making Heart Choices NOT Hard Choices,” and places a spotlight on creating heart-healthy environments where we live, work and play, making sure that people have the best opportunities to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease.
Through the work of our 47,000 members – including 10,000 members in over 130 countries – and with the help of our 32 International Chapters, the College is committed to encouraging individuals to start the dialogue to bring heart-healthy environments into their lives. Through the College’s patient-focused website, CardioSmart.org, several tools and resources are available to help track blood pressure, quit smoking, be more physically active and eat heart-healthy foods. The College is also encouraging its partners to participate in World Heart Day activities.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death in the world, accounting for 17.3 million deaths a year. This statistic is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Providing individuals with a more health-conscience place to live and work and enjoy life is a worthwhile initiative that will surely go a long way to reduce this troubling statistic and will help in the effort to meet the World Health Organization’s global target of reducing NCD mortality 25 percent by 2025.
See more at: http://blog.cardiosource.org/post/tackling-cvd-around-globe-heart-healthy-environments/?w_nav=RI#sthash.BNst7zi7.dpuf