August 27, 2020: Most deaths from cardiovascular disease occur in low- and middle-income countries, but relatively few published studies have focused on cardiovascular disease in these countries, and publications in international scientific journals by researchers from these settings remain rare. A special section published today in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension features six new studies by investigators from Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Eurasia that assess implementation of hypertension control and dietary artificial trans fat elimination strategies to reduce preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease in their countries and worldwide.
The cardiovascular disease prevention initiatives evaluated in the supplement are supported by Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies. Resolve aims to save 100 million lives globally by improving cardiovascular health. Authors from eight low- and middle-income countries who led these studies participated in a mentorship program with experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Lancet Commission on Hypertension Group, Resolve to Save Lives, and the World Hypertension League.
”Planning a research study, collecting data, assessing data analysis, and writing a scientific paper for the first time is extraordinarily difficult,” said Dr. Andrew Moran, Director of Global Hypertension Programs at Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies. ”The CDC-Lancet Commission on Hypertension Group-Resolve to Save Lives program, and more specifically, the program’s mentors, helped new authors through this difficult process, and it is exciting to see the quality of the finished papers and their potential to improve cardiovascular health in the authors’ countries.”
Expanding the evidence base on hypertension treatment, sodium reduction, and trans-fat elimination strategies is a critical pathway to prevent and manage cardiovascular diseases. An important strategy for achieving this goal is to increase opportunities for investigators in low- and middle-income countries to publish their studies.
“Rigorous evaluation allows health programs to learn and improve,” said Dr. Michael Hecht Olsen of the Lancet Commission on Hypertension Group. “These studies contribute to our understanding of cardiovascular health strategies in low- and middle-income countries and will be valuable not only for the programs themselves, but for future interventions as well.”
In 2019, CDC began a mentorship collaboration with the Lancet Commission on Hypertension Group, Resolve to Save Lives, and World Hypertension League, inviting 35 public health trainees and practitioners working on RTSL-supported cardiovascular health initiatives in low- and middle-income countries to propose manuscripts that could enhance the evidence base and inform future work. Potential authors were paired with mentors from the Lancet Commission on Hypertension Group to define a clear study aim, describe methods, and present and discuss the results. Authors strengthened their scientific communication and dissemination skills and shared project results with the larger scientific community, increasing the global impact of their work.
“The papers included in this supplement show the talent and dedication of these authors,” said Dr. Qaiser Mukhtar, Program Implementation and Capacity Building Team Lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global Noncommunicable Diseases Branch.“It’s our hope that participation in the mentorship program will help to create a global community of cardiovascular health researchers who continue to collaborate and learn with and from each other. ”
The studies highlighted in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension’s special supplement include :
- Martinez et al. describing trends and disparities in cardiovascular disease burden in the WHO Region of the Americas from 1990-2017, revealing a slowdown in the reduction of premature mortality from cardiovascular disease that may prevent countries from attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goal of a one third reduction in premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 2030.
- Yueayai et al. on the results of a pilot study on a method to enhance hypertension diagnosis in a hospital in Thailand, where the use of electronic pop-up messages in the electronic health record and follow-up protocol interventions significantly increased hypertension diagnosis and follow-up among hypertensive patients.
- Krishna et al. assessing the attitudes of private health care providers in Madhya Pradesh, India toward key strategies of the India Hypertension Control Initiative, and concluding that private sector engagement with the public program is feasible.
- Demin et al. exploring current trans-fat elimination policies in member states of the Eurasian Economic Union, finding that they are insufficient to achieve the WHO guideline of <2% of total fat content in all food products, and recommending the adoption of regional policy measures.
- Tarar et al. describing the complexities of trans fat prevalence and control in the food supply in Pakistan, and suggesting the development of a comprehensive national strategy for trans fat elimination.
- Chavasit et al. describing consumption of trans fat and strategies for its reduction in Thailand, using a strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threat analysis to support a regulatory approach to reduce trans fat in Thailand.
The Journal of Clinical Hypertension special section is only a beginning. A future Journal of Clinical Hypertension special section will spotlight additional studies from investigators participating in the mentorship collaboration.Participants in the CDC-Lancet Commission on Hypertension Group-Resolve to Save Lives program are well on their way to leading more research and improving cardiovascular health around the world.
Erin Sykes, Resolve to Save Lives: [email protected]; +1.646.612.0001
Christina Honeysett, Vital Strategies: [email protected]; +1.914.424.3356
About Resolve to Save Lives
Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the
global health organization
Vital Strategies, focuses on preventing deaths from cardiovascular disease and
preventing epidemics. Resolve to Save Lives is funded by Bloomberg
Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gates Philanthropy
Partners, which is funded with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation. It
is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. To find out more, visit:
https://www.resolvetosavelives.orgor Twitter @ResolveTSL and @DrTomFrieden
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our programs reach 73 countries and help prevent death and illness from noncommunicable disease, reduce harm caused by environmental factors, and support cities as engines for public health progress. We consult with governments on issues including restricting junk food marketing to kids, promoting smoke-free laws, improving indoor and outdoor air quality, and strengthening road safety. These are protections that can save millions of lives. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research, and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change.