Global Heart Hub announces the launch of new patient-led research to bring attention to unhealthy cholesterol levels

Cardiovascular patient community calls for change urging unhealthy cholesterol levels to be addressed as a global health priority.

This announcement comes during the 2023 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress, under the theme of ‘joining forces to protect the heart’.

GALWAY, Ireland, August 28, 2023 – Following the unveiling in 2022 of Global Heart Hub’s Global Cholesterol Action Plan, supported by the World Heart Federation, community support has grown to 70 patient organisations and groups who together are calling for global action to reduce the impact of unhealthy cholesterol levels. To reinforce this call to action, Global Heart Hub will begin to collect patient insights from individuals whose cholesterol levels are not at target or those who have suffered a cardiovascular event to better understand patient experiences that can help impact care and improve outcomes. The first-of-its-kind cholesterol patient insights generation by the cardiovascular patient community is needed to help support the local implementation of the Global Cholesterol Action Plan and to drive strategies to manage unhealthy cholesterol, a critical modifiable risk factor for the world’s biggest killer, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD)1.

Neil Johnson, Executive Director, Global Heart Hub said: “While we’ve advanced with science and treatment, ASCVD remains the world’s number one killer, with unhealthy cholesterol levels as the main culprit. We need to continue our work from the Invisible Nation program to better understand why this continues to be a global challenge and would like to gain a deeper understanding of the patient perspective and journey. Collecting patient insights will give us what we need to mobilise stakeholders to have much needed discussions around better detection and better management of high cholesterol. We must act now to reduce the tremendous burden of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease on individuals, society and healthcare systems.”

The Global Cholesterol Action Plan was created to trigger change at a local level and gives countries guidance through four clear steps to reduce the impact of unhealthy cholesterol levels:

  1. Build alliances;
  2. Raise public awareness;
  3. Activate alliances; and
  4. Improve high cholesterol detection and management.

It builds on the World Heart Federation’s Cholesterol Roadmap which calls on changes to the way ASCVD is prevented and treated.

Fernanda de Carvalho, Instituto Lado A Lado Pela Vida, Brazil said: “We need to put even more focus on ASCVD. In Brazil, there are 300,000 premature deaths per year, and we know that 80% of these are related to ASCVD. Considering these numbers and reality, it is important to sign the Global Cholesterol Action Plan and to participate in a task force to reduce cardiovascular deaths.”

Global patient community support

Representing the voice of the global patient community, the Global Cholesterol Action Plan was created with the support of Invisible Nation, a program co-created by Global Heart Hub and Novartis to expose the realities of ASCVD. To date the Global Cholesterol Action Plan has been supported by 70 patient organisations and groups from across the Americas, Europe and Australia including WomenHeart and The Mended Hearts, United States; Heart Valve Voice Canada, Heartlife Canada, and the Canadian Heart Patient Alliance, Canada; Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida, Brazil; Pacientes de Corazón, Mexico; FH Europe; Croí, Ireland; Associazione Italiana Scompensati Cardiaci, Italy; and Hearts4Heart, Australia. The Global Cholesterol Action Plan can be reviewed and supported here.

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Accessed July 31, 2023.