Cardiovascular diseaseCardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 17.5 million deaths each year. Most of these deaths are from heart attacks and strokes, and many are premature. Although outstanding progress has been made in CVD awareness, prevention and treatment, three out of every 10 deaths this year will still be result of CVD.

A global epidemic, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, affecting all regions regardless of income. Low-and middle-income countries make the largest contribution to the burden of CVD, particularly in terms of deaths in people aged 30 to 70 years, and those figures are still rising. However, CVD deaths and disability are not inevitable and up to a quarter could be avoided with more effective strategies for primary and secondary prevention. The ‘what’ is well-known, with a range of well-established, evidence-based and effective interventions. But knowing what to do has not proved enough to ensure effective implementation at scale. The ‘how’ still eludes us in some areas, and for some populations.

This report focuses on the role of innovative delivery models to extend the reach, accelerate the uptake and increase the impact of the most effective interventions. It provides clarity for policymakers on which areas to prioritise to achieve the most substantial reduction in CVD burden over the next 10 to 15 years, namely: hypertension diagnosis and management, tobacco control and effective secondary prevention.

Report focus

The report identifies five levers that health systems can use to extend CVD prevention to remote places, underserved segments of society, and future generations: regulatory intervention; workforce innovation; digital, patient-centred technologies; public health intelligence; and behavioural economics. it highlights how many of these efforts are complementary to each other and are not expensive to implement.

In their research the authors draw on case studies of programmes in Brazil, South Africa, India, the UK and Bhutan. The report focuses on the role of innovative delivery models in these countries that have succeeded in extending the reach, accelerating the uptake and increasing the impact of the most effective interventions.

Report insights

To meet the World Heart Federation (WHF) goal of reducing CVD mortality globally 25 percent by 2025, health systems would have to reduce prevalence of hypertension by 25 percent, reduce daily tobacco use by 30 percent, and provide secondary prevention to more than 50 percent of the eligible population.

While no country has yet achieved this ambitious goal, the report offers a roadmap for policymakers on this journey. it provides clarity for policymakers on which areas to prioritise to achieve the most substantial reduction in CVD burden over the next 10 to 15 years, namely: hypertension diagnosis and management; tobacco control; and effective secondary prevention.

It offers innovative approaches to accelerate the implementation of policy levers and offers suggestions on how to deploy limited resources most effectively. Finally, it proposes a strategic framework to guide the sequencing of policy at the national level to create impact.

READ FULL REPORT: Cardiovascular disease

Forum Chair: Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)

Professor Srinath Reddy
Srinath ReddyProf. K. Srinath Reddy is currently President, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and formerly headed the Department of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was appointed as the First Bernard Lown Visiting Professor of Cardiovascular Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2009. He is also an Adjunct Professor of the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University and Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney. PHFI is engaged in capacity building in Public Health in India through education, training, research, policy development, health communication and advocacy.

He has served on many WHO expert panels and has been the President of the World Heart Federation (2013-14). He chaired the Core Advisory Group on Health and Human Rights for the National Human Rights Commission of India for several years and was a member of the first National Science and Engineering Research Board of Government of India. He recently chaired the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage, set up by the Planning Commission of India. He has also served as the President of the National Board of Examinations which deals with post-graduate medical education in India.

Prof. Reddy is a member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (, established to assist the United Nations in developing the post-2015 goals for sustainable development. He chairs the Thematic Group on Health in the SDSN. Prof. Reddy is a high level panel member on the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.