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Take action this World Heart Day

Photo: ISCA and the NowWeMOVE campaign support World Heart Day (photo from FlashMOVE 2016 by Lithuanian Sport University)


Today, on World Heart Day (29 September 2016), the World Heart Federation is urging people around the globe to unite to turn information into action and transform the 1 in 10 lives that are being cut short prematurely as a direct result of cardiovascular disease (CVD).


CVD, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death globally, claiming over 17 million lives each year. However, at least 80% of premature deaths from CVD could be avoided.


The World Heart Day website has a wealth of information to empower individuals to help themselves to get to grips with their own heart health. The new Heart IQ tool in particular is a great way to take the plunge and see just how ‘heart smart’ you really are.


Professor David Wood, President Elect of the World Heart Federation, said: “Cardiovascular disease is preventable in so many cases and that’s why we’re encouraging people to take action and learn more about their heart health this World Heart Day. It’s easy for all of us to be a bit complacent as we can’t see our hearts, but small everyday steps like eating more healthily, cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking can really improve your heart health and your overall well-being.”


The public campaign is backed up by a strong call to policymakers and governments to also harness the power of information: to transform the heart health of global nations. World Heart Federation is calling on them to make a firm commitment to implement reliable and fit for purpose surveillance and monitoring systems for CVD in order to better prevent, control and treat the world’s biggest killer.


With the call launched at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Hearts Initiative meeting last week, the World Heart Federation is today publishing a policy brief executive summary which looks at how countries and regions collect data on cardiovascular disease, with a focus on premature mortality caused by CVD.


The policy brief shows worrying inconsistencies in how CVD is monitored around the world and notes some of the challenges faced on a global scale – from practical elements such as lack of resources and limited workforce capacity, to lack of political will. It also offers a series of recommendations, from strengthening national civil registration systems (births, deaths and causes of death) and sharing best practice, to helping to tackle political inertia by sharing data in easy to read formats that encourages better uptake and results in action.


At present, it is thought that only 42 countries have non-communicable disease (NCD) surveillance and monitoring systems that support reporting against the World Health Organization’s targets for reducing NCDs .


Johanna Ralston, Chief Executive of the World Heart Federation, said: “The ongoing threat of cardiovascular diseases for individuals, communities and countries is very real. Through more efficient and detailed monitoring we can gather information to build a much better picture of which nations are in need of support, and which we can learn from, sharing best practice across the globe. This is especially important for lower income countries where the threat from CVD is even more serious.”


In celebration of World Heart Day, Philips, a leading health technology company, has teamed with the World Heart Federation to help people better manage their heart health. “Our new partnership with the World Heart Federation is an important element of our commitment to drive prevention of CVD by making clear the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and to help people make better choices and develop healthier habits for life,” said Carla Kriwet, Business Leader of Patient Care and Monitoring Solutions at Philips.


Get involved in World Heart Day 2016!

Wherever you are in the world, you can show your support for World Heart Day and help raise awareness of the need to reduce the number of deaths from CVD in the following ways:

  • Tweet @worldheartfed with your Healthy Heart Selfie. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WorldHeartDay so we can repost your picture on our Wall of Selfies
  • Take the Heart IQ Test to find out how ‘Heart Smart’ you are:
  • Look out for iconic buildings turning red around the globe!



World Health Organization, 2012

World Heart Federation

Kroll et al. Challenges to the surveillance of non-communicable diseases–a review of selected approaches BMC Public Health (2015) 15:1243


For more information World Heart Day 2016, see the World Heart Federation website:


World Heart Day press enquiries: please contact Beth Andlaw, Victoria Mayman or Emily Howard: 00 44 (0)203 861 3820 / [email protected]


About World Heart Day 2016

World Heart Day was founded in 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.5 million lives each year. World Heart Day takes place on 29 September every year. The theme of this year is power your life - we want everyone to understand what they can do to fuel their hearts and power their lives. We are also calling on global governments and policy makers to implement reliable, simple and fit-for-purpose surveillance systems for monitoring the burden and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD).


This World Heart Day we’ve joined forces with Bupa and Philips to make World Heart Day more powerful than ever. With their support, we are raising awareness and encouraging individuals, families, communities and governments to take action and help us to achieve our goal of a 25% reduction in premature deaths from CVD by 2025. Together, we aim to help people everywhere to live longer, better, heart-healthy lives.


For more information about World Heart Day 2016 including access to the campaign materials visit the website.


About the World Heart Federation

The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke. We are the only global advocacy and leadership organization bringing together the CVD community to drive the CVD agenda and help people live longer, better, more heart-healthy lives. Working with more than 200 member organizations in over 100 countries, we strive for a 25% reduction by 2025 in premature deaths from cardiovascular disease around the world. For more information, please visit:; and