This World Heart Day (29 September 2016), the World Heart Federation (WHF) is urging people around the globe to use the power of information to transform the 1 in 10 lives that are being cut short prematurely as a direct result of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
CVD is the leading cause of death globally, claiming over 17 million lives each year. However, at least 80% of premature deaths from CVD could be avoided.
The World Heart Day website has a wealth of information to empower individuals to get to grips with their own heart health such as the new Heart IQ Test - a great way to see how 'heart smart' you are. The World Heart Federation is also calling on policymakers and governments to harness the power of information and commit to implementing reliable and fit for purpose surveillance and monitoring systems for CVD.
This call is supported by a policy brief executive summary which shows worrying inconsistencies in how CVD is monitored around the world and notes some of the challenges faced - from lack of resources and limited workforce capacity, to lack of political will. It also offers recommendations, from strengthening national civil registration systems and sharing best practice, to helping to tackle political inertia.
Johanna Ralston, Chief Executive, World Heart Federation, said: "Cardiovascular disease is preventable in so many cases and that's why we're encouraging people to take action this World Heart Day. Small changes like eating more healthily, cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking can really improve your heart health. We also need more efficient and detailed monitoring so we can build a better picture of which nations are in need of support, and which we can learn from."
At present, it is thought that only 42 countries have non-communicable disease (NCD) surveillance and monitoring systems that support reporting against the World Health Organization's targets for reducing NCDs.
For further information regarding World Heart Day, please visit: http://www.worldheartday.org
- World Health Organization, 2012
- Kroll et al. Challenges to the surveillance of non-communicable diseases-a review of selected approaches BMC Public Health (2015) 15:1243 DOI 10.1186/s12889-015-2570-z
Source: The World Heart Federation (WHF)