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Clean Air, Smart Cities, Healthy Hearts: Action on Air Pollution for Cardiovascular Health

  • Brauer, Michael1, 2
  • Davaakhuu, Narantuya3
  • Escamilla Nuñez, Maria Consuelo4
  • Hadley, Michael5
  • Kass, Daniel6
  • Miller, Mark7
  • Prabhakaran, Dorairaj8
  • Sliwa, Karen9
  • Su, Ta-Chen10
  • Vaartjes, Ilonca C. H.11
  • Vedanthan, Rajesh12
  • Mwangi, Jeremiah13
  • Armstrong-Walenczak, Kelcey13
  • 1 The University of British Columbia, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, CA
  • 2 University of Washington, US
  • 3 National Center for Public Health Mongolia, MN
  • 4 Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, MX
  • 5 Mount Sinai, US
  • 6 Vital Strategies, US
  • 7 Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 8 Public Health Foundation India, IN
  • 9 Cape Heart Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, ZA
  • 10 Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, TW
  • 11 Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, NL
  • 12 NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, US
  • 13 World Heart Federation, CH
Published Article
Global Heart
Ubiquity Press
Publication Date
Sep 07, 2021
DOI: 10.5334/gh.1073
PMID: 34692385
PMCID: PMC8428302
PubMed Central
  • Invited Editorial
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More than twenty percent of all cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths are caused by air pollution — more than three million deaths every year — and these numbers will continue to rise unless the global community takes action. Nine out of ten people worldwide breathe polluted air, which disproportionately affects those living in low-resource settings. The World Heart Federation (WHF) is committed to reducing the impact of air pollution on people’s health and has made this a priority area of its global advocacy efforts. In pursuit of this goal, WHF has formed an Air Pollution Expert Group to inform action on air pollution for CVD health and recommend changes to public health policy. This policy paper lays out the health impacts of air pollution, examines its position on the global policy agenda, demonstrates its relevance to the cardiovascular community, and proposes actionable policy measures to mitigate this deadly risk factor to health. The paper considers the important roles to be played by the Members of WHF, including scientific societies and the physicians that constitute them, heart health foundations, and patient advocacy groups. The paper concludes with a detailed table of recommendations for the various sub-target groups at the global, national, local, and patient level.

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