Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death in the Americas. They are responsible for 31% of all deaths reported in Latin America and the Caribbean. WHO estimates that by 2020, this number will increase by more than 60% unless preventive measures are introduced. To reduce mortality related to cardiovascular diseases, it is critical that the prevention and control be carried out at two levels: individual and population. This page focuses on population-wide (population-based) approaches.
In population-based approaches for CVD prevention, a wide range of stakeholders needs to be involved: from governments to consumer associations, from academia to mass media and NGOs. This inclusive process will combine top-down approaches with the eventual grassroots social action that will emerge through the education of the general population in issues related to the problem.
A successful example of population-wide approach is the Trans Fat Free Americas project which reached an unprecedented support from the private industry, governments, NGOs, public health agencies, and consumer agencies in the Declaration of Rio de Janeiro in 2008. español | português.
PAHO is currently working with the same intensity to introduce a cost-effective, population-based, comprehensive approach to lowering blood pressure: Cardiovascular Disease Prevention through Dietary Salt Reduction.