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Global partnership seeks to improve health outcomes for people living with CVD in low- and middle-income countries.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for nearly 18 million deaths in 2016 alone. More than three-quarters of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. To increase understanding of this globally important issue, the CDC Foundation and Amgen are partnering on a new global cardiovascular health initiative to support independent epidemiological research by the University of Oxford and technological and evaluation research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The five-year effort aims to expand the evidence base for CVD risk factors, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries, by supporting the collection and analysis of data to improve understanding of the causes of CVD and interventions that may improve patient outcomes.

“The CDC Foundation is proud to be a part of this global cardiovascular disease partnership, and we are grateful to Amgen for their support,” said Judith Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “It is our hope this work will provide a greater understanding of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and inform diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies in low- and middle-income countries.”

According to WHO, approximately 30 million people suffer a heart attack or stroke annually. The CDC Foundation partnership will strengthen the global evidence base for CVD risk factors, support training and fellowships to develop future leaders in CVD epidemiology and explore the feasibility of point-of-care testing in low- and middle-income countries. This partnership will incorporate the expertise and technical assistance of globally recognized health research organizations through three distinct work streams:

  • Support existing epidemiological studies in countries such as Cuba, India, Mexico and Russia that are part of the Richard Doll Consortium―the world's largest consortium of principal investigators coordinated by the University of Oxford; 
  • Test the suitability of point-of-care testing devices in selected low- and middle-income countries to be conducted by the CDC Lipids Standardization Program; and
  • Evaluate the current hyperlipidemia data environment to establish a baseline of existing evidence on hyperlipidemia burden, diagnostics and treatment.

“Amgen is committed to meeting the needs of people who are living with CVD throughout the world by advancing the awareness and understanding of CVD and helping support appropriate diagnosis as well as treatment,” said Darryl Sleep, MD, senior vice president, global medical and chief medical officer, Amgen. “We are pleased to partner with the CDC Foundation as part of this pivotal initiative to conduct research that could help lead to the prevention of CVD globally, especially in low-and-middle income countries where CVD deaths are becoming increasingly common as the populations increase and age.”   

Professor Sarah Lewington, coordinator of the Richard Doll Consortium at the University of Oxford said, “This partnership will help support epidemiologists conducting large studies of cardiovascular disease in low- and middle-income countries. These studies are generating valid, reliable, country-specific evidence on some of the major causes of cardiovascular disease and so providing the scientific foundation for data-driven national and global public health strategies.”