The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) in partnership with the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Nursing, the World Heart Federation and the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professionals, released the Global Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Call to Action for Nursing, a scientific paper that addresses the global burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the important role of nurses in primary and secondary prevention. The content of this paper reflects a major shift in recognition of the need to address chronic diseases around the world with new approaches to CVD risk reduction.
Although we live in a period of increasing development and urbanization worldwide, cardiovascular disease remains the principal cause of death and imposes an ever-increasing burden of morbidity and mortality in both high and low-income countries.
“A sense of urgency permeates this supplement. Just as poverty engenders poor health, poor health also contributes to poverty and to loss of productivity worldwide. The challenge of cardiovascular disease is enormous and unrelenting, but it is not insurmountable. The risk factors are known and the skills to modify them are available”. – PCNA International Committee.
In summary, the report addresses:
- How nurses have the potential to be visionary leaders in the battle against cardiovascular disease who can innovate, motivate and inspire patients
- The need to address chronic diseases as well as infectious diseases and the critical need for team-based approaches
- Why cardiovascular disease attacks both high and low-income socioeconomic groups; and why different risk factors are endemic in different societies
- Which interventional strategies may have the greatest impact in various locations and cultures
- Examples of nurse-led models that have been successful in in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease
- The effective interventions and present global risk assessment tools to help determine which populations need to be targeted
- The important gap in the planning, provision and evaluation of cardiovascular care and chronic illness
- The proven potential to reverse unhealthy practices, such as poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and smoking by replacing them with healthy practices
- Why, with support from policy-makers, community-based cardiovascular disease prevention initiatives can be highly successful in encouraging and enabling behavior change for groups of people
- How effective change requires and in-depth understanding of how multilevel policies operate, especially in poor and developing countries
- How health care systems differ throughout the world and can have a significant impact on patient adherence to lifestyle change, resources and skills
The supplement appeared in the 2011 July/August issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (JCN) and the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (EJCN). You can also download a copy of Global Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Call to Action for Nursing here.