Global alliance of heart patient organizations unveils Global Cholesterol Action Plan to prioritize unhealthy cholesterol as a main public health issue
The Global Heart Hub reveals its Global Cholesterol Action Plan to address unhealthy cholesterol, a critical modifiable risk factor to better manage the world’s biggest killer, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
GALWAY, Ireland, Nov. 30, 2022 – The Global Heart Hub has today unveiled its Global Cholesterol Action Plan to reduce the impact of unhealthy cholesterol levels. Presented at the Global Heart Hub’s annual UNITE Summit, the Global Cholesterol Action Plan follows and builds upon the World Heart Federation’s Cholesterol Roadmap released in October.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) accounts for 85% of all cardiovascular-related deaths and is the leading cause of mortality worldwide, responsible for more than 15 million deaths each year[i]. A main risk factor of ASCVD is low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) – also known as ‘bad cholesterol’.
While 80% of premature cardiovascular events related to ASCVD are preventable, many people with elevated LDL-C levels go undiagnosed until they experience a major cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or a stroke. And while the onset of cardiovascular disease is often associated with lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical activity and diet, almost 40% of the adult population is at risk of elevated LDL-C levels due to an inherited genetic condition.
In launching the Global Cholesterol Action Plan, the Global Heart Hub hopes to implement change in the way unhealthy cholesterol levels are prevented and managed at local levels to reduce ASCVD. Until now, local action on ASCVD has been limited despite the publication of international prevention guidelines. The Global Heart Hub’s Action Plan therefore outlines four clear goals to ensure unhealthy cholesterol levels are addressed as a public health priority: build alliances, raise public awareness, activate alliances, and improve high cholesterol detection and management. The four-point plan proposes measures we can take to meet these goals and activate change in the way ASCVD is prevented and treated.
Dr. Shaun Goodman, Associate Head of Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada said: “Improving public understanding of the serious risks of unhealthy cholesterol levels related to the development of ASCVD is critical. What’s also needed to change the trajectory of this growing problem is a multi-stakeholder approach that includes governments and policy makers in order to implement strategies to improve high cholesterol detection and to support the work being done by healthcare professionals.”
Neil Johnson, Executive Director of the Global Heart Hub said: “While we’ve advanced with science and treatment, ASCVD remains the world’s number one killer, with cholesterol as the main culprit. The unveiling of our Global Cholesterol Action Plan is the patient communities’ collective call for governments to optimize policies that target unhealthy cholesterol management and prevention to help reduce the tremendous burden of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease on individuals, the society and the healthcare system.”
Global patient community support
Representing the voice of the global patient community, the Action Plan was created with the support of Invisible Nation, a program co-created by Global Heart Hub and Novartis to expose the realities of ASCVD. The Global Cholesterol Action Plan has been endorsed by patient organisations from across the Americas, Europe and Australia including WomenHeart and The Mended Hearts, United States; Heart Valve Voice Canada, Heartlife Canada, and Canadian Heart Patient Alliance; Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida, Brazil; Pacientes de Corazón, Mexico; FH Europe; Croí, Ireland; Associazione Italiana Scompensati Cardiaci, Italy; and Hearts4Heart, Australia.
[i] World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds).