Cardiovascular disease (CVD) such as heart attack and stroke are the leading cause of death globally, responsible for over 17.5 million deaths each year worldwide,[1] with 80% of CVD deaths occurring in low and middle income countries.[2] The majority of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable.

diseasesWCC 2016 has enabled members and partners to reinvigorate their global commitment to address cardiovascular health and reduce the number of premature deaths.

Over the course of four days, researchers, cardiologists, policymakers and health leaders have had the opportunity to participate in scientific sessions, discuss ground-breaking research and consider new technological advances. Perhaps more importantly, WCC 2016 has united participants looking to learn from practical examples how interventions from around the world can be implemented in various settings to save lives.

Johanna Ralston, Chief Executive of the World Heart Federation said: “This congress has catalysed the global CVD community’s commitment and energy towards common goals and speaking with one voice. Now it is time to translate commitment into action, including ensuring we all support the WHO Global Action plan and develop national plans and systems to support heart health.”

Highlights of the congress have included the launch of the Mexico Declaration for Circulatory Health – the most comprehensive global declaration on heart health, as well as the launch of a Global Status Report outlining disease control activities worldwide, and the ground-breaking INVICTUS programme.

A petition promoted at the congress calling for Mexico to follow in the steps of Uruguay and introduce 100% smoke free spaces has attracted 400 signatures.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, leading cardiologist Dr Erick Alexanderson said: “The situation we have in Mexico is serious, and it’s poignant that we held the congress here in Mexico City. The key to beating the chronic health challenges linked to CVD, such as obesity, is increased education. The activity we have seen here over the last four days will leave a lasting legacy for the people of Mexico.”

At the closing ceremony, Dr. Kathryn Taubert presented Tom Parks from the United Kingdom with the WHF Early Career Investigator Best Abstract Award for the abstract Genome-Wide Association Study Of Susceptibility To Rheumatic Heart Disease In Oceania: Preliminary Results. Lastly, World Heart Federation President-Elect David Wood also revealed that the Global Summit on Circulatory Health will be held in Cape Town in 2017.

Closing the congress by thanking the delegates, Dr Salim Yusuf, President of the World Heart Federation, said: “We know what to do, we just need to do it. We have shared tools and findings from all over the globe at this congress and now the responsibility is ours to turn this knowledge into action.”

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