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How To Save 100 Million Lives Through Improved Heart Health

New study shows three scalable interventions can save millions of lives globally

(New York, USA) – A new study in the journal Circulation reports nearly 100 million lives could be saved by increasing the number of people around the world treated for high blood pressure, by reducing salt intake and by eliminating trans fat from the global food supply. The authors used current global figures on blood pressure, salt intake and trans fat consumption to estimate the impact that evidence-based interventions would have on future death rates. They found that scaling up global treatment for high blood pressure to 70% could delay 39.4 million deaths, that reaching a 30% reduction in sodium intake could delay an additional 40 million deaths, and that eliminating trans fat could delay 14.8 million deaths, for a total of almost 100 million lives in 25 years.

Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, welcomes these findings, which demonstrate the life-saving potential of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention on a global scale. The findings highlight the need for renewed and increased commitments to improving high blood pressure treatment, reducing salt intake, and eliminating trans fats from governments, health systems, and advocates. The three cost-effective, feasible interventions are needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.4, which aims to reduce risk of premature death from noncommunicable diseases by one third by 2030.

“Improving blood pressure, reducing salt and eliminating trans fat have tremendous potential to improve cardiovascular health globally, said Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives.  “But the full potential of these interventions to save lives can only be reached with increased national and international efforts. The research published in Circulation shows that this is a public health opportunity that we can’t leave on the table. There are millions of lives at stake, and we have proven solutions.”

Resolve to Save Lives aims to work with partners to save 100 million lives by:

– Helping low- and middle-income countries improve treatment of high blood pressure by implementing programs that have been proven to be effective and that can be scaled up in large populations

– Supporting policies to eliminate artificial trans fat

– Supporting efforts to reduce global salt consumption by 30%

Non-communicable diseases (NCD), including cardiovascular disease, claim 38 million lives a year and are the leading global cause of death. 40% of those who die from NCDs are younger than 70, and 80% of these premature NCD deaths occur in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs).

Despite the substantial and growing burden of heart disease in LMICs, only 1% or less of all global health funding is currently invested in NCD prevention.

Media Contact:

Erin Sykes, Resolve to Save Lives: esykes@resolvetosavelives.org; +1.646.612.0001
Christina Honeysett, Vital Strategies: choneysett@vitalstrategies.org; +1.914.424.3356
Tracey Johnston, Vital Strategies: tjohnston@vitalstrategies.org; +44.(0)7889.081.170

Link to article

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.038160

About Resolve to Save Lives

Resolve to Save Lives is a five-year, $225 million campaign funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gates Philanthropy Partners, which is funded with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation. It is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and housed at Vital Strategies.  .

To find out more visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org or Twitter @ResolveTSL

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our programs reach into 73 countries and help prevent death and illness from noncommunicable disease, reduce harm caused by environmental factors, and support cities as engines for public health. We consult with governments on issues including restricting junk food marketing to kids, promoting smoke-free laws, improving indoor and outdoor air quality, and strengthening road safety. These are protections that can add up to millions of lives saved. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change.

To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.