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Tackling cardiovascular disease surge worldwide requires collaboration
Date:3/22/2010

WASHINGTON -- Tackling the increasing rates of cardiovascular disease in developing nations will require input from multiple partners, including the business community and international companies as well as global health and development agencies and the governments of these countries, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. More than 80 percent of deaths related to cardiovascular disease worldwide now occur in low- and middle-income countries; nearly 30 percent of all deaths in developing nations are caused by heart and circulatory disease.

Public groups and representatives from private industry, led by the International Food and Beverage Association, should collaborate on strategies to reduce people's consumption of salt, sugar, saturated fats, and trans fats -- all contributors to risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. Success will require finding the right balance of regulatory policies from national governments and voluntary actions from industry because agricultural practices, food distribution and marketing systems, and cultural preferences vary across nations, noted the committee that wrote the report.

Pharmaceutical and medical technology firms, insurance companies, and public health and aid groups should work together to make therapies, diagnostic tools, and preventive techniques for these diseases affordable and accessible in all nations, the report says. Many developing countries do not have the resources or infrastructure to take advantage of available tools and technologies. Given the toll that cardiovascular disease takes on nations' health and productivity, nongovernmental groups and professional health societies should advocate for charities, private foundations, and government aid agencies to earmark funding and other resources for initiatives to control the epidemic worldwide.

These are some of the recommendations included in the report, which lays out a vision for curbing and ultimately
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Contact: Christine Stencel
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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