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World Heart Day: A Look at CVD Around the Globe

September 26, 2013

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World Heart Day, Sept. 29, is an opportunity for medical professionals, patients and organizations around the globe to unite in building awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD), the world's leading cause of death. This year's day of awareness focuses on "a life-course approach to the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with a focus on women and children...because healthy children lead to healthy adults and healthy adults lead to healthy families and communities."

An environmental scan report published last year in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology External Link revealed staggering global CVD statistics. CVD currently accounts for 17.3 million deaths per year and that number is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Additionally, elevated blood pressure was found to cause 51 percent of stroke deaths and 45 percent of coronary heart disease deaths. The report also noted that stroke mortality exceeds ischemic heart disease mortality in 74 World Health Organization member countries, with China, Africa and South America having an excessively higher rate of stroke than the other countries. The study revealed that despite the projection that heart disease and stroke will be the leading cause of death through the year 2030, only 150 new cardiovascular drugs are in development, contrasted with the more than 700 underway for the treatment of cancer.

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Furthermore, CVD currently makes up nearly half of all non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This year's World Heart Day is timely with the recent release of a statement External Link calling for the implementation of plans to help meet the global target of reducing premature NCD mortality 25 percent by 2025.

Join the ACC, the World Heart Federation, and other organizations by getting involved in this important global movement:

  • What's your greatest challenge for treating patients with CVD? Take the poll on ACC's Facebook page. External Link
  • Share this global CVD infographic.
  • Hear from ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, on the need to encourage a life-course approach to CVD prevention on the ACC in Touch Blog. External Link
  • Visit the International Center on CardioSource.org: The pulse of the ACC's activities around the globe.
  • Help your patients take the road to a healthy heart with tools and resources available through the ACC's CardioSmart External Link initiative.