Taking Charge of Heart Health
World Heart Day is held annually on September 29. It is an international day to unite people in the fight against cardiovascular disease (CVD) and help reduce the global disease burden.
"Any disease of the heart, vascular disease of the brain, or disease of the blood vessel constitutes a cardiovascular disease." — World Heart Federation
What is the World Heart Federation?
With roots stretching back to 1944, the World Heart Federation is the world’s leading non-governmental organization dedicated to cardiovascular disease prevention.
The World Heart Federation helps shape and advance the worldwide CVD agenda through 200 member organizations across 100 countries. It's also the sponsor organization for the World Heart Day global campaign.
Through policy support, scientific advances, and the exchange of ideas, information and best practices, the World Health Federation works in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) toward one primary goal:
To reduce premature deaths from major non-communicable diseases (NCD) — cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes — by 25 percent by 2025 (25 by 25).
25 by 25 and the Global Heart Health Agenda
Cardiovascular disease affects people of all ages, ethnicities and economic conditions, and it’s responsible for more than one-third of all deaths worldwide.
During the 15 years the world worked toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the prevalence of cardiovascular disease increased in every region around the world.
In 2012, the World Health Organization set out to begin changing this. It developed a global action plan and established nine targets to prevent and control non-communicable diseases by 2025. Target one, 25 by 25, is a 25 percent reduction in mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes.
In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, formally known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals replace and build upon the MDG and expand the scope of the global community’s efforts to transform the world.
When the United Nations adopted the MDG it identified eight contributors to human suffering:
Today, the SDGs seek to transform a different world. The interconnectivity and interdependence in our world requires a broader, more integrated and more comprehensive agenda. The number of goals the international community now works toward has grown from eight to 17, and the number of success targets has increased eight-fold, from 21 to 169.
Sustainable Development Goal 3 — ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages — includes a success target addressing non-communicable diseases.
"By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being."
A key way to successfully achieve the reduction in the SDG 3 target is to reach the WHO and World Heart Federation goal of reducing premature deaths due to cardiovascular disease by 25 percent by 2025.