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Climate Change And Health Inequity A Deadly Mix For The Most Vulnerable: World Heart Federation


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.[1] 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[2] 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.

About World Heart Day 2022
Everyone is encouraged to get involved in World Heart Day and to learn more about better heart health. For more information about World Heart Day, visit
Join the conversation using the #UseHeart hashtag and post builder (

Notes to Editors
1. Media Contact: Borjana Pervan, Strategy and Communication Director, World Heart Federation, +41 22 807 03 23

2. About Professor Fausto Pinto, President of WHF
Professor Fausto Pinto is the current President of the World Heart Federation and Past-President of European Society of Cardiology. He is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (Lisbon, Portugal), and Full Professor of Cardiology. He is also the Head of the Cardiology Department and of the Heart and Vascular Department of Santa Maria University Hospital, CHULN E.P.E. Follow Professor Pinto on Twitter

3. About World Heart Day
World Heart Day is celebrated each year on 29 September to raise awareness and mobilize international action against cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death on the planet. It is the global initiative under which individuals, governments and the entire heart community come together to engage in fun activities, increase public education, and advocate for universal access to CVD prevention, detection and treatment. For more information, visit

4. About the World Heart Federation
The World Heart Federation (WHF) is an umbrella organisation representing the global cardiovascular community, uniting patient, medical, scientific, and civil society groups. Together with its Members, WHF influences policies, shares knowledge and inspires behaviour change to achieve heart health for everyone. For more information, visit

5. About Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Alliance
The Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Alliance are driven to transform care for people with cardio-renal-metabolic conditions, a group of interconnected disorders that affect more than one billion people worldwide and are a leading cause of death.

The cardiovascular, renal and metabolic systems are interconnected, and share many of the same risk factors and pathological pathways along the disease continuum. Dysfunction in one system may accelerate the onset of others, resulting in progression of interconnected diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and kidney disease, which in turn leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular death. Conversely, improving the health of one system can lead to positive effects throughout the others.

This World Heart Day, they are proud to continue to support the World Heart Federation. Through their research and treatments, their goal is to support people’s health, restoring the balance between the interconnected cardio-renal-metabolic systems and reducing their risk of serious complications. As part of their commitment to those whose health is jeopardized by cardio-renal-metabolic conditions, they will continue embracing a multidisciplinary approach towards care and focusing our resources on filling treatment gaps.

6. About Servier
Servier is a global pharmaceutical group governed by a Foundation. Servier is an independent group that invests over 20% of its brand-name revenue in Research and Development every year. To accelerate therapeutic innovation for the benefit of patients, the Group is committed to open and collaborative innovation with academic partners, pharmaceutical groups, and biotech companies. It also integrates the patient’s voice at the heart of its activities.

A leader in cardiology, the ambition of the Servier Group is to become a renowned and innovative player in oncology. Its growth is based on a sustained commitment to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, oncology, neuroscience and immuno-inflammatory diseases. To promote access to healthcare for all, the Servier Group also offers a range of quality generic drugs covering most pathologies.

As an official global partner for World Heart Day 2022, Servier’s support helps raise awareness and encourages individuals, families, communities and governments to drive the CVD agenda and help people live longer, better, more heart-healthy lives.

[2] In 2022, the World Heart Federation conducted a global pulse survey of 2500 people across 25 countries.

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Source: World Heart Federation