Heart of Health Policy | UN General Assembly Meets to Evaluate Progress Towards NCD Goals

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As part of the third United Nations (UN) General Assembly high-level meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) held Sept. 27 in New York, heads of state and government conducted a comprehensive review of global progress made in achieving the goal of reducing the number of premature deaths from NCDs by 2030.

Since the first UN high-level meeting in 2011, stakeholders have agreed to a number of national and global commitments to fighting NCDs. New data from 186 countries published Sept. 20 in The Lancet shows NCD mortality decreasing in most countries; however, the pace of decline varies substantially, even among countries in the same region. As such, more than 50 percent of the countries assessed are not currently on track to reach the specified targets, according to researchers.

The current UN meeting featured multistakeholder panels addressing topics ranging from strengthening health systems and financing for the prevention and control of NCDs, to the challenges and opportunities in engaging governments, civil society and the private sector at global, regional and national levels to promote multisectoral partnerships for the prevention and control of NCDs and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

Cardiology Magazine ImageACC President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC

ACC President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, as well as ACC International and Innovation staff, attended these meetings on behalf of the College, and worked to share its experiences working in collaboration with its international and U.S. state chapters, partner cardiovascular societies, industry and other stakeholders to prevent and control NCDs in the context of the UN sustainable development goals.

"Through its robust international initiatives, the College hopes to continue to move the needle on deaths related to cardiovascular disease in alignment with the UN and WHO NCD goals," said Valentine. "The ACC envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. This vision cannot be achieved if we don't take a leadership role in proactively addressing the global burden of NCDs."

Among ACC activities: the College's global prevention program sponsored by Pfizer, Inc., that provides physicians and hospital systems in 10 countries with access to the education, resources and practical tools needed to stem the rising tide of cardiovascular disease in their countries and equip patients with the knowledge necessary to manage their cardiovascular health.

As part of the program, the ACC is partnering with its extensive network of international chapters and working with local cardiology societies to customize clinician education in a way that meets the unique needs of physicians, patient communities and health care systems in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

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The College has also launched a robust regional conference program in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East designed to bring the latest science directly to cardiovascular professionals in those regions where they live and work. The ACC is also leveraging its clinical data registries, including the PINNACLE Registry, in countries like India to identify and track gaps in care and ultimately allow treating cardiologists to develop quality interventions to improve the care of patients with common cardiovascular medical conditions.

Most recently, the ACC has launched a new Global Heart Attack Treatment Initiative aimed at leveraging lessons learned from the drastic decrease in morbidity and mortality from myocardial infarction in the U.S. over the past 25 years and applying best practices across all of ACC's 42 International Chapters spanning over 80 countries worldwide. The initiative will be aligned with data collection from ACC's Chest Pain-MI Registry and interventions will be localized for the unique needs of each health system.

In addition, the ACC has joined the NCD Alliance and many other civil society organizations in a letter released to coincide with the UN high-level meeting commending the heads of state and government "for embracing the opportunity" the UN meeting presents to celebrate initiatives and progress to date, but also urging "decisive new action" to drive further change and "halt the tsunami effect of NCDs – on people, families, communities and economies."

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Health Policy, Mortality, Premature, Goals, Government, Private Sector, Leadership, Tsunamis, World Health Organization, Chest Pain, Registries, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Diseases, Conservation of Natural Resources

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