Statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies on September 29, 2020, World Heart Day:
More lives are lost to cardiovascular disease than any other cause, especially in low- and middle-income countries where nearly 80% of deaths related to cardiovascular disease occur. Yet many of these deaths can be prevented. Globally, COVID-19 has interrupted essential care services but as governments shape their country’s on-going response, now is the time to prioritize cardiovascular health.
Simple, proven treatment protocols and strategies can prevent heart disease. Global leaders must come together to enforce policies that reduce salt consumption, eliminate trans fats, and stop industry interference that undermines these efforts. Legislation must be reinforced by strategic, population-wide campaigns that inform the public of factors that increase personal risks of heart attack and stroke.
At Vital Strategies, we build support for the kinds of policies that are essential to creating a healthy future for everyone, especially among those least protected by health systems. Amidst COVID-19, World Heart Day is a critical moment for governments to commit and invest in cardiovascular health to save lives now and in the future.