Wed, September 28, 2022 at 11:01 PM·6 min read
GENEVA, Sept. 28, 2022 /CNW/ — On World Heart Day, the World Heart Federation (WHF) is calling for urgent action on climate change and health inequity, saying millions more lives are now at risk from cardiovascular disease, which is still the world’s biggest killer.
Climate change and air pollution are responsible for 25% of deaths from cardiovascular disease, killing 7 million people annually. These deaths and the wider impacts of climate change disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
Professor Fausto Pinto, President of WHF: “Millions of already vulnerable people are doubly exposed to extreme weather events and limited access to healthcare. World leaders must step up efforts on the two biggest threats of our time: climate change and global health inequity.”
Alongside the World Health Organisation (WHO), WHF is calling on governments, civil society, and global industry to meet net-zero targets, to tackle global warming and curb air pollution, and to deliver healthcare access for all.
“Climate change is not about polar bears or icebergs anymore. It’s about people’s health, especially poor people’s health. We need to reduce emissions in the name of health otherwise we will see more and more disasters and more suffering everywhere,” says Dr Maria Neira, Director of Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at WHO.
A recent global survey by WHF revealed that people perceive social inequality and access to healthcare as the second most serious issue for cardiovascular, with health and climate change and air pollution ranked third. 80% of respondents highlighted government action as essential to reducing the burden of CVD.
WHF is also urging healthcare providers to issue regular reminders to at-risk groups about the dangers of extreme weather events, including tips on managing excessive heat events.
“We know what works in prevention and in treatment of the world’s biggest killer. It is time for scaled up implementation and shared responsibility.” Prof. Pinto adds.