Death rates from heart disease and strokes have dropped dramatically worldwide over the past century, thanks in part to the work of the American Heart Association.
A century on from launching in 1924, the Association is reflecting on the “remarkable achievements” that have seen heart disease death rates cut by “70% from 1950 to 2021 and stroke death rates drop by nearly a third since 1998”.
“Advancements over the past century are far beyond anything the founders of the American Heart Association could imagine,” said Mariell Jessup, M.D., the Association’s chief science and medical officer. “We can perform open and closed heart surgery, bring a heart back to life through resuscitation and defibrillation and even provide people with a second chance at life through heart transplants.”
This journey – and where it goes next, is laid out in a new advisory published today, called: The American Heart Association at 100: A Century of Scientific Progress and the Future of Cardiovascular Science.
The future part is all about ‘defeating heart disease and stroke’.
“Our next century is a thrilling opportunity for advancing our knowledge and hopefully even defeating heart disease and stroke,” says Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO.
And this opportunity will be realised far more easily, the Association says, if key issues are addressed. Which includes having a more diverse workforce, better funding for research, and greater scientific literacy among the public, to give them the tools they need to “become a champion of their own heart”.
“Everyone can become a champion of their own heart and brain health and support healthy living in their communities,” Brown adds. “We encourage you to join us as we boldly carry out our mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives for all. Learn how at www.heart.org/centennial.”