WHF’s purpose is to unite the global health community to beat cardiovascular disease (CVD), which kills 17.9 million people every year. WHF is asking all to “use heart” to make better choices for society, our loved ones and ourselves.
Professor Karen Sliwa, WHF President, said: “In these trying times, it is paramount that we pay special attention to those who are at greater risk of complications from COVID-19 and better understand how the virus is affecting the hearts of otherwise healthy people. COVID-19 has created a perfect storm, in which those people with CVD fare poorly, and those at risk don’t seek the treatment that they need to keep their hearts healthy. The heart and the entire vascular system are in danger and we need to act now. Today we have a unique opportunity to unite, to mobilise our skills and to use our heart to act.”
CVD has many causes: from smoking to diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and air pollution. To combat these, WHF is calling not only for individual behaviour change but for a societal one. With equity at the centre of WHF’s work, it is vital to make access to healthcare, healthy foods and a healthy way of life accessible and affordable to all people. Regulating unhealthy products, while creating healthy environments are examples of such solutions for governments and communities. Given the current situation, WHF is also calling for recognition and urgent protection of frontline healthcare providers.
WHF has launched a global study on cardiovascular disease and COVID-19 to better understand outcomes and risk factors in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.