Cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of death in the world and accounts for almost half of all deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Earlier this year, in response to a high-level UN meeting on NCDs in 2011, the World Health Assembly set a global target to reduce premature NCD mortality by 25% by the year 2025.
Now The Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce, including representatives from the World Heart Federation, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology Foundation, the European Heart Network, and the European Society of Cardiology, have proposed a set of aggressive measures to help achieve the goal.
The Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce is urging governments and medical groups to adopt four global targets:
- Reduce the prevalence of insufficient physical activity by 10%
- Reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25%
- Reduce salt/sodium intake by 30%, with the aim of achieving the recommended level of less than 5 g/day
- Reduce by 30% the prevalence of tobacco smoking
The Taskforce also expressed support for a halt in the increase in obesity and reductions in saturated fat intake, cholesterol, and alcohol (when excessive). The group also called for increased use of drugs to prevent MI and stroke.
“The number of people with CVD is growing and its impact is disproportionately felt by those in the developing world, where people die younger; we now have the opportunity of a lifetime to stem its rise with concerted international action that will help countries tackle the preventable causes of CVD,” said Sidney Smith, Jr, president of the WHF and chair of the writing group, in a press release.
The CVD Taskforce paper can be downloaded in the journals Global Heart, Circulation, the European Heart Journal, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Here is the press release from the AHA: