Prevention Must Be a Global Priority as We Celebrate World Heart Day, Says American Heart Association CEO

Washington, D.C., Sept. 27, 2013 – Sunday, Sept. 29, is World Heart Day, created by the World Heart Federation to remind everyone around the globe about heart disease and stroke, the two leading killers worldwide.  American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments in support of this special day:

“As we observe World Heart Day this year, the American Heart Association calls on the global community to remember that prevention is the key to living a heart healthy life.

The habits we develop when young shape our health in adulthood for better or worse. Nearly two-thirds of premature deaths and one-third of the total disease burden among adults are connected to conditions and behaviors that began in youth. That’s why the focus of this year’s World Heart Day on a lifelong approach to the prevention and control of cardiovascular is a critical global goal for everyone.

Last year, 194 nations made a commitment to reduce premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases by 25 percent by 2025.  This effort is a tremendous step forward in tackling the human suffering and economic costs associated with these highly preventable illnesses. In addition, the partnerships we and the World Heart Federation participate in, such as the Non-Communicable Disease Alliance and the Global Cardiovascular Taskforce, have helped to bridge the gap between policy and action.

These collaborative initiatives bring together leaders in healthcare research and delivery who coordinate and shape strong national plans that will address the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases.  But battling the burden of heart disease and stroke is not just a quest for policymakers and government leaders.  Every citizen must make their own heart health a priority and take the vital steps necessary to reduce their risk.

Cardiovascular diseases know no international boundaries.  They touch people of all ages and population groups. By practicing prevention – eating healthy, regular exercise and avoiding tobacco – we can conquer these killers. On this World Heart Day we encourage everyone to take the road that leads to a heart healthy life.”

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Media contact:  Retha Sherrod, (202) 785-7929; retha.sherrod@heart.org          


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