ACC President-Elect Zoghbi to address United Nations summitHouston, TX - 9/16/2011
Cardiologist William Zoghbi, M.D., will address the United Nations Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases next week (Sept. 19 and 20) to argue that abating heart disease should be a target of the United Nations' eight Millennium Development Goals. Zoghbi is president-elect of the American College of Cardiology and the director of The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center's Cardiovascular Imaging Institute.
Over 17 million people die from cardiovascular disease every year, and 80 percent of those deaths occur in the world's least developed and poorest countries, according to World Heart Federation data.
"This issue does not receive as much as attention as it deserves," said Zoghbi, the William L. Winters endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Imaging at The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center. "Cardiovascular disease in developing countries is a major source of mortality, and it is our position that by working in concert, we can prevent unnecessary deaths and improve quality of life. The American College of Cardiology has worked with a multitude of organizations around the Summit, including the World Heart Federation and Global Health Council. Additional support from the U.N. position could mean more resources and more lives saved."
Zoghbi was elected Vice president of the American College of Cardiology earlier this year and will take over the presidency of the ACC in March 2012. In his position, he frequently acts as a spokesperson for U.S. cardiologists.
He says American cardiologists have already been working with their counterparts in other countries to address heart and vascular disease.
"The ACC has worked with its international chapters to expand the use of the National Cardiovascular Data Registry across the globe, which can help developing countries track their progress on cardiovascular care to improve their patients' outcomes," Zoghbi said. "The College will continue to lobby U.S. and international bodies for ways we can maximize global efforts around combating heart disease and other non-communicable diseases."
The eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; to achieve universal primary education; to promote gender equality and empower women; to reduce child mortality; to improve maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases -- including, Zoghbi hopes, heart disease; to ensure environmental sustainability; and to develop a global partnership for development. All 191 U.N. member states agreed to achieve progress in these areas by 2015. Partners include the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the World Food Programme, and more than a dozen U.N. agencies, such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
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