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“Heart health is more important than ever during COVID-19”

Statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies on September 29, 2020, World Heart Day:

“As the virus continues to spread, governments face a pandemic exacerbated by an already concerning epidemic: noncommunicable diseases, including heart disease. 

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.”

Learn more about Vital Strategies’ work to respond to cardiovascular disease: 

Through Resolve to Save Lives, Vital Strategies is working to respond to the pervasiveness of cardiovascular disease, especially in low- and middle-income countries where nearly 80% of deaths related to cardiovascular disease occur. Learn more: https://www.vitalstrategies.org/programs/cardiovascular-health/

About World Heart Day

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of death and disability, claiming 17.9 million lives a year, more than all infectious diseases combined. Around 85% of these deaths are due to heart disease and stroke. Cardiovascular disease accounts for a third of all deaths and half of all deaths related to noncommunicable disease. 

Founded in 2000, World Heart Day is an initiative of the World Heart Federation. It is the world’s biggest platform for raising awareness about cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.

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Media Contact: Christina Honeysett, choneysett@vitalstrategies.org