Statement Highlights Rare Opportunity for CV Community to Shape UN Sustainable Development Goals

The cardiovascular diseases community has a rare opportunity over the next few months to convince international bodies to devote appropriate resources to curb the rise of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases and stroke, according to a statement published Sept. 22 from the Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce.

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With the United Nations poised to debate and decide its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015 and beyond, the statement calls for ensuring cardiovascular health is a focal point of the agency’s future development agenda. To date, more people die each year of cardiovascular disease than from any other single cause. In addition, estimates suggest that NCDs will cost $7 trillion (USD) globally between 2011 and 2025, with cardiovascular disease accounting for much of this expense.

The Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce highlights its support for an overall SDG goal to “ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.” As part of this goal, taskforce members highlight the importance of protecting individuals’ rights to health, regardless of financial situation; safeguarding affordable access to quality cardiovascular care; promoting a “life course approach” to good health and healthy behavior; and ensuring the World Health Organization’s 25x25 NCD targets are included in all national plans.

Taskforce members note, however, that achieving these goals will require cooperation and collaboration across sectors and disciplines. “Now is the time to use our evidence-based science and advocacy capacity to ensure that health is at the heart of the forthcoming UN Global Development Agenda,” they write. “As representatives of the CVD community, we must lift our collective voices on behalf of the countless patients we serve, the survivors we hope to create, and the population at large.”

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