World Heart Federation

The World Heart Federation (WHF) is a nongovernmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. The World Heart Federation is committed to uniting its members and leads the global fight against heart disease and stroke, with a focus on low-and middle-income countries. The World Heart Federation is the world's only global body dedicated to leading the fight against heart disease and stroke via a united community of almost 200 member organizations that bring together the strength of medical societies and heart foundations, from more than 100 countries covering the regions of Asia-Pacific, Europe, East Mediterranean, the Americas and Africa.

Each year 17.3 million people die of cardiovascular disease, 80% in the developing world. The World Heart Federation exists to prevent and control these diseases through awareness campaigns and action, promoting the exchange of information, ideas and science among those involved in cardiovascular care, advocating for disease prevention and control by promoting healthy diets, physical activity and tobacco free living at an individual, community and policy maker level.



The World Heart Federation traces its origins to the International Society of Cardiology, which was formed in 1946, and the International Cardiology Federation, founded in 1970. These two organizations merged in 1978 to form the International Society and Federation of Cardiology (ISFC). The ISFC changed its name to the World Heart Federation in 1998.[1]

Strategic Goal

The World Heart Federation urges greater action from policy makers, healthcare professionals, patient organizations and individuals to work together to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke, and ensure people all over the world can have longer and better lives.


By 2025, to drive the WHO target for non-communicable disease mortality reduction by reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) by at least 25%.

Board 2015-2017

Continental Representatives


Globally, cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for 31 per cent of all deaths causing 17.3 million people to die every year, with 80 per cent of deaths taking place in low- and middle-income countries.


Advocacy Goals

The unique position of the World Heart Federation has been successful in providing the heart advocacy movement with an overarching drive that brings together science, advocacy and evidence-based policy.

Endorsed by World Health Organization Member States at the 65th World Health Assembly, a global goal has been established to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25 per cent by 2025. Because cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for nearly half of the global NCD burden, CVD and its risk factors must be adequately addressed in order to achieve this global goal.

25 by 25

25x25, achieving a 25% relative reduction in overall mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease by 2025. In September 2011, the United Nations held a High-Level Meeting in New York on the subject of NCDs, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. This was only the second time in its history that the UN held a summit on a health issue and its aims were to:

The outcome of the meeting was a Political Declaration signed by all the UN Member States that now represents the NCD roadmap. The first action step of the Declaration came in May 2012 when the 65th World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a global target of 25% relative reduction in overall mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory diseases by 2025.

This led to the World Heart Federation recognising that achieving the 2025 targets would require a primary focus on cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, and that all of the targets have a direct impact on CVD. The organization committed itself to supporting action to reduce premature mortality from CVD by 25% by 2025.

Global Health Agenda

By mobilizing its member network and participating in key advocacy events, including the World Health Assembly and UN meetings such as the UN Summit on NCDs in September 2011, the World Heart Federation reaches the decision-makers directly. United efforts have resulted in the Commonwealth Heads of Government issuing a landmark statement on NCDs thus committing fifty-four countries, representing a third of the world’s population, to work towards including NCDs in the global development agenda.

  1. A green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication
  2. The institutional framework for sustainable development

The outcome document, entitled, Future We Want, can be read here.[3] The Rio + 20 conference resulted in: adoption of green economy policies, establishment of a high-level political forum and agreement to strengthen the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and adoption of the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns. Additionally, the groundwork for the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was created. As a result of the conference, over 700 voluntary commitments and new partnerships were formed to advance sustainable development.[4][5]

NCD Alliance

In 2009, the World Heart Federation and its sister federations the International Diabetes Federation and the Union for International Cancer Control formed the Non‐Communicable Disease (NCD) Alliance. In early 2010 the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease joined the alliance. Together the NCD Alliance represents 880 member associations in more than 170 countries. The NCD Alliance mobilized civil society to campaign successfully for a United Nations (UN) Summit on NCDs, which was subsequently held in September 2011. Additionally, on 13 May 2010, the UN voted unanimously for the passage of resolution 64/265, ‘Prevention and control of non‐communicable diseases.’

Healthy diet and physical activity

As an advocate of putting cardiovascular disease and its risk factors on the global health agenda, the World Heart Federation strongly supports initiatives addressing obesity, healthy diet and physical activity. WHF recognizes the importance that both nutrition and physical activity play in preventing and reducing the risk cardiovascular disease.

Eat for Goals!

Eat for Goals! is a cookery app which gives young people the opportunity to cook the same heart-healthy recipes as some of the world’s top footballers. Based on the successful Eat for Goals! book, the app encourages young people to eat healthily and lead an active lifestyle, in order to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.

The app now features three additional renowned players – Fernando Torres, Kelly Smith and Sergio Ramos – and their healthy and easy to do recipes. The app also presents a new section of snacks to offer healthy options between meals.

Eat for Goals! was originally created under the patronage of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), World Heart Federation and the European Commission.
The app shows young people how to cook the same healthy recipes as some of their favourite football stars, with the aim of encouraging them to eat healthily and lead an active lifestyle. Once the app is downloaded, young people aged 7+ are encouraged to ‘score a goal’ to see recipes from 11 of their favourite football legends: Frank Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carles Puyol, Steven Gerrard, Yaya Touré, Paul Pogba, Lotta Schelin, Rachel Yankey, Samuel Eto’o and now Fernando Torres, Kelly Smith and Sergio Ramos.

Each player shares what he or she loves to eat and gives the recipe for his or her favourite dish. As well as seeing what football stars like to eat, the app also provides interesting food facts and step-by-step instructions, making it easy for even the less-experienced to make delicious, healthy meals in no time at all!

Tobacco Control

Tobacco is responsible for close to six million deaths per year globally. As an advocate for reducing risk factors associated with cardiovascular deaths, the World Heart Federation supports strong limitations to active and passive smoking. In 2004, the World Heart Federation implemented, alongside other organizations, its own code of practice (based on WHO-endorsed code of practice) that aims at promoting tobacco limitations within the organization itself.


World Congress of Cardiology

The World Congress of Cardiology[6] held every other year, is a scientific conference of cardiologists from around the world, where the latest research is presented. The Congresses were held every four years from 1950 to 2006, and every two years since then. The aims of the World Congress of Cardiology are to share scientific research results and public outreach techniques with low- and middle-income countries, reach the maximum number of healthcare providers by integrating national and regional congresses, focus on prevention, diagnosis and treatment and encourage interaction between physicians, patients, policy-makers and the public. The next World Congress of Cardiology Scientific Session will take place in Mexico City, Mexico from 4–7 June 2016.

The regular registration fee deadline is 13 May 2016.

"We look forward to welcoming you to Mexico City for a congress which we believe will feature one of the most innovative and action oriented programme, designed to meet the needs of cardiologists, other health workers and patients for the 21st century." Dr. Salim Yusuf, President of the World Heart Federation

About World Heart Day 2016 World Heart Day was founded in 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.5 million lives each year. World Heart Day takes place on 29 September every year. The theme of this year is power your life - we want everyone to understand what they can do to fuel their hearts and power their lives. We are also calling on global governments and policy makers to implement reliable, simple and fit-for-purpose surveillance systems for monitoring the burden and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This World Heart Day we’ve joined forces with Bupa and Philips to make World Heart Day more powerful than ever. With their support, we are raising awareness and encouraging individuals, families, communities and governments to take action and help us to achieve our goal of a 25% reduction in premature deaths from CVD by 2025. Together, we aim to help people everywhere to live longer, better, heart-healthy lives. For more information about World Heart Day 2016 including access to the campaign materials visit the website.

Past themes have included:
2015: Creating heart-healthy environments
2013: Take the road to a healthy heart
2011-2012: One World, One Heart, One Home
2009-2010: I Work with Heart
2008: Know your Risk
2007: Team Up for Healthy Hearts!
2006: How Young is Your Heart?
2005: Healthy Weight, Healthy Shape
2004: Children, Adolescents and Heart Disease
2003: Women, Heart Disease and Stroke
2002: What Shape are you in?
2001: A Heart for Life
2000: I Love my Heart: Let it beat!


External links

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