Print version ISSN 1555-7960
ORDUNEZ, Pedro. Cardiovascular health in the Americas: facts, priorities and the UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases. MEDICC rev. [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.4, pp. 6-10. ISSN 1555-7960. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1555-79602011000400003.
Population aging, smoking, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, in the context of globalization and unregulated urbanization, explain the high prevalences of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes in the Americas, making cardiovascular diseases the main cause of death. Moreover, cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors disproportionately affect the poorest people, obstructing antipoverty efforts and further deepening health and other inequities. The global crisis of chronic non-communicable diseases has reached such proportions that the UN General Assembly called a high-level meeting in September 2011 to address the issue as one of human development, aiming to stimulate political commitment to a concerted global effort to stem the pandemic. In reference to the Americas, this article reviews the burden of cardiovascular diseases and describes priorities for strategies and action in the region and their relation to the results of the UN meeting.