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CVD deaths to rise by a third in less than 10 years, say leading health experts

Two leading experts in heart health have released a statement warning that premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) could rise by a third by 2025

A joint statement from the American Heart Association and the World Heart Federation revealed that CVD could rise by 34% in men and 30% in women in the next nine years.

CVD is already the number one cause of death around the world with a global cost of £599bn ($863bn).

The statement, The Heart of 25 by 25: achieving the goal of reducing global and regional premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke, said the disease's prevalence will increase if the risk factors are not “aggressively addressed” by health practitioners and policymakers worldwide.

Through studying global data on premature deaths from CVD in 30-70 year olds, the research found that it is currently responsible for almost 6 million premature deaths per year, but concluded that this could rise to nearly 8 million by 2025.

The research breaks this figure down by region and concludes that central and Eastern Europe and central Asia could see a 26% increase in women and 16% increase in men.

One way of curbing the rise is to achieve the World Health Organization (WHO) 25 by 25 risk factor targets for blood pressure, smoking, obesity and diabetes, the report said.

The targets are designed to reduce the risk of premature non-communicable disease deaths by 25% by 2025.

The report also recommends enacting laws against smoking in work places, public places and public transportation, as well as placing higher taxes on tobacco products to fund tobacco control programmes.

Professor David Wood, president-elect of the World Heart Federation and co-author of the study said: “The conclusions of this study are clear: to stop people dying prematurely from cardiovascular disease we need both the political will and a firm commitment from health leaders to put in place some progressive strategies right now.

“Cost-effective measures to reduce CVD risk factors such as obesity, tobacco use and hypertension already exist, but they've not been widely implemented.”

Dr Ralph L. Sacco, past-president of the American Heart Association and lead author said: “Our research shows that achieving the World Health Organization's 25 by 25 target is possible with cost-effective population-wide strategies, especially for blood pressure and tobacco, and greater collaboration across multiple sectors.”