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World Heart Federation marks World Heart Day 2015 with a focus on healthy heart environments for everyone, everywhere

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Geneva - To mark World Heart Day 2015, the World Heart Federation, its members and partners are calling on the global community to ensure the right to heart-healthy environments so that people all around the world have the opportunity to make healthy heart choices.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s number one killer. Each year, it is responsible for 17.3 million premature deaths, and by 2030 this is expected to rise to 23 million. At least 80% of these deaths are in low- and middle-income countries where human and financial resources are most limited to address them. Yet most premature deaths caused by CVD could be avoided by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity and raised blood pressure, all of which are strongly linked to a person’s environment.

World Heart Day unites people from all countries and backgrounds in the fight against CVD and inspires and drives international action to encourage heart-healthy living across the world. People can join the cause for healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere by taking a Healthy Heart Selfie and sharing it on Twitter using the hashtags #WHD2015 and #heartchoices. Additionally, during World Heart Day 2015, a variety of activities such as public talks and screenings, walks and runs, seminars and sporting events are organized by World Heart Federation member organizations, partners and others worldwide.

Dr Salim Yusuf, President, World Heart Federation explains the importance of World Heart Day: “We have an opportunity to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke and to change the course of these diseases and their global impact, by encouraging and supporting healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere. On World Heart Day, over 120 countries are joining together to encourage individuals, families, communities and governments to take action to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. I urge everyone to join us and get involved, no matter how small the effort, it all counts.”

Everyone has the right to make positive healthy heart choices wherever they live, work and play. Yet too often society ‘blames’ the individual: you smoke, you eat and drink too much, you don’t exercise. But the environments we occupy can either encourage or discourage the choices we make to be more heart healthy and everybody has the right to choose to be heart healthy, no matter where they live work and play.

Johanna Ralston, Chief Executive Officer, World Heart Federation said: “Ensuring that individuals have access to heart-healthy environments requires immediate action at a national and international level. We want people around the world to have access to heart-healthy choices that reduce their risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. There are real opportunities to deliver initiatives such as smoking bans in public parks and elimination of fast food advertising and tobacco, which can make such a difference to people’s heart health. ”

This press release is available in a number of different languages. Please email the press contacts below for more information.

For further information regarding World Heart Day, please visit: www.worldheartday.org

Access to the World Heart Day 2015 video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUDls0uulOo
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/worldheartfed and use the hashtags #WHD2015 and #heartchoices
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/worldheartday

ENDS

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Laetitia Laporte
T: 0207 067 0552
E: llaporte@webershandwick.com

Rosie Ireland
T: 0207 067 0190
E: rireland@webershandwick.com

About the World Heart Federation
The World Heart Federation is the only global advocacy and leadership organization bringing together the cardiovascular disease (CVD) community to help people everywhere lead heart-healthy lives. We strive for a world where there are at least 25% fewer premature deaths from CVD by 2025. That’s why we and our 200+ members work courageously to end needless deaths from exposure to tobacco and other risk factors, lack of access to treatment, and neglected conditions like rheumatic heart disease which kills hundreds of thousands of children each year. Across 100 countries, with its members, the World Heart Federation works to build global commitment to addressing cardiovascular health at the policy level, generates and exchanges ideas, shares best practice, advances scientific knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer to tackle CVD– the world’s number one killer. World Heart Federation is at the heart of driving the CVD agenda and advocating for better heart health – enabling people to live longer, better and more heart healthy lives whoever and wherever they are.

For more information, please visit: www.worldheart.org; www.facebook.com/worldheartfederation and twitter.com/worldheartfed.