Our Time: A Call to Save Preventable Death From Cardiovascular Disease (Heart Disease and Stroke)

Worldwide, the aging population, globalization, rapid urbanization, and population growth have fundamentally changed disease patterns. Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), of which cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for nearly half, have overtaken communicable diseases as the world’s major disease burden. CVD remains the No. 1 global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to >23.6 million by 2030. Increasingly, the populations affected are those in low- and middle-income countries, where 80% of these deaths occur, usually at younger ages than in higher-income countries, and where the human and financial resources to address them are most limited (1).

The epidemiological transition occurring is exacerbated by the lack of vital investment in sustainable health policies to address and curtail the risk factors associated with CVD and NCDs. Recognizing the profound mismatch between the need for investment in the prevention and control of CVD at the global and national level and the actual resources allocated, the international CVD community, under the umbrella of the World Heart Federation, joined the NCD community to call for a United Nations (UN) High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases, held in September 2011.  Read more