NEW ORLEANS, November 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Roadmap aims to reduce cholesterol in secondary and primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and in patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia
The World Heart Federation's (WHF) Cholesterol Roadmap is being previewed today at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2016 in New Orleans, USA.
In the Roadmap the WHF calls for more awareness of healthier lifestyles, increased screening for cholesterol; more effective drug treatments; better treatment for patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH)*; better physician education; and reform of drug availability and affordability.
The Cholesterol Roadmap forms part of a series produced by WHF to help meet targets set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), by 25% by 2025. Reducing the risk of cholesterol-related CVD has an essential role to play in achieving this goal.
Professor David Wood, President Elect of the World Heart Federation, said: "Our Roadmap initiative aims to help international efforts to beat cardiovascular disease. We have focused on the main CVD risk areas and produced the Roadmaps to help support individual countries in implementing appropriate health measures."
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body. If too much 'bad' cholesterol builds up in the arteries, it can restrict blood flow, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Cholesterol levels vary enormously between populations, but the traditional Mediterranean diet will lower average cholesterol levels.
For primary prevention WHO recommends identifying people at high risk of having a heart attack and stroke, but most people are unaware of their cholesterol levels or their overall cardiovascular risk. For patients who already have CVD reducing cholesterol is important. But a large treatment gap exists in proportions of patients achieving national targets for cholesterol lowering.
Carlos Castro, Executive Director of the patients' heart health association, PACO said: "There are more than 17 million deaths caused by cardiovascular disease each year. High levels of cholesterol are known to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. We hope by tackling the 'roadblocks' with the solutions set out in this Roadmap we can reduce the number of deaths."
Note to editors
* The genetic disorder FH produces the highest cholesterol levels and causes premature CVD in young adults and children and is often undetected.
SOURCE World Heart Federation