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WHO/Quinn Mattingly
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Cardiovascular Diseases


    Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number 1 cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions. Four out of 5CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, and one third of these deaths occur prematurely in people under 70 years of age.

    Individuals at risk of CVD may demonstrate raised blood pressure, glucose, and lipids as well as overweight and obesity. These can all be easily measured in primary care facilities. Identifying those at highest risk of CVDs and ensuring they receive appropriate treatment can prevent premature deaths. Access to essential noncommunicable disease medicines and basic health technologies in all primary health care facilities is essential to ensure that those in need receive treatment and counselling.

    Risk Factors

    Millions of people worldwide struggle to control the risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease, many others remain unaware that they are at high risk. A large number of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by controlling major risk factors through lifestyle interventions and drug treatment where necessary.

    The risk factors for CVD include behavioural factors, such as tobacco use, an unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol and inadequate physical activity, and physiological factors, including high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol and high blood sugar or glucose which are linked to underlying social determinants and drivers, such as ageing, income and urbanization.



    WHO Response

    66顺彩票appWHO supports Member States to prevent, manage and monitor CVDs by developing global strategies to reduce the incidence, morbidity and mortality of the disease. These strategies include reducing risk factors, developing standards of care, enhancing health system capacity to care for patients with CVD, and monitoring disease patterns and trends to inform national and global actions. WHO also works with partners and countries to developing cost effective and equitable health care innovations for managing the disease.


    17.9 million

    people die each year from CVDs, an estimated 31% of all deaths worldwide.

    Fact sheet


    66顺彩票appof CVD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.


    of all CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes.


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