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WHF launches new Global Roadmap on the prevention of CVD among people living with diabetes

02 Sep 2019

Today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology, the World Heart Federation launched a new “roadmap” aimed at reducing the global burden of CVD in people living with diabetes. The Roadmap on the prevention of cardiovascular disease among people living with diabetes is a key reference document for anyone involved in the planning, organisation, implementation and monitoring & evaluation of approaches related to CVD prevention in people living with diabetes. It outlines a vision of an ideal pathway of care, potential roadblocks along this pathway, and proposed solutions, with examples from practice.

Rapid urbanization, unhealthy diets and increasingly sedentary lifestyles have resulted in fast-growing rates of obesity and diabetes, with an estimated 425 million people currently living with diabetes worldwide – around 90 percent have type 2 diabetes. Alarmingly, the situation is set to deteriorate further in the coming decades, with the total number of people with diabetes predicted to increase to over 600 million by 2045. It has been estimated that globally, up to 50 percent of people with diabetes are unaware of their disease.

While diabetes is treatable, even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) – people with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to have increased risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, myocardial infarction and angina pectoris compared to those without diabetes. Prevention of CVD in people with diabetes is a necessity and preventive strategies predominantly focus on lifestyle management and risk factor interventions.

Professor Karen Sliwa, President of the World Heart Federation (WHF), said “Diabetes and its related CVD complications are a huge global issue. All over the world, due to limited resources, countries are struggling to provide the necessary preventive or medical care, with a disproportionate burden falling on low-and middle-income countries. Given the worldwide impact of the epidemic of CVD and diabetes, we decided to take action to address it globally through this new roadmap on the prevention of CVD among people living with diabetes.”

Developed in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the Roadmap draws on the expertise of diabetes expert clinicians, researchers, implementation science experts and patients from around the world, and presents an integrated approach to patient care, involving the patient perspective, healthcare system perspective and health policy perspective.

Laurence Sperling, Chair of the CVD and Diabetes Roadmap Writing Group explains, “We have identified important  gaps in the care of people living with diabetes who are a high cardiovascular risk, and focused on priorities and key action areas to close these gaps. We also provide an ‘implementation toolkit’ for successful translation of the Roadmap to national and local initiatives, aiming to ensure that as many people living with diabetes as possible receive optimal preventive care and treatment.”

“In order to be implemented successfully, the CVD and Diabetes Roadmap requires committed global action. Today, the Roadmap will be launched at the largest cardiovascular congress in the world, which represents the perfect forum to raise awareness of this impactful global epidemic.  Our goal is to  demonstrate how utilization of this roadmap can help a broad base of stakeholders begin to tackle the problem and make a longstanding difference.”


Download the Roadmap

Download the Summary Document

Watch the Roadmap video


Notes to editors

For more information please contact the press office on +41 22 807 03 27 or [email protected].

The WHF Global Roadmap on the prevention of CVD among people living with diabetes will be launched at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology in a session entitled ‘Heart failure and diabetes: what is on the horizon’ on Monday 2 September 2019, 11:00 – 12:30 CEST. WHF would like to thank Boehringer-Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Regeneron and Sanofi for their financial support.

The WHF Global Roadmap on Heart Failure will also be launched at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology in a session entitled ‘Expert Advice Optimising the organisation of heart failure care,’ on Monday 2 September 2019, 16:40 – 17:50 CEST. WHF would like to thank Novartis for their financial support.

The Roadmaps will be published in open-access in the WHF journal, Global Heart. These two new documents add to existing Roadmaps on secondary prevention of CVD, raised blood pressure, tobacco control, cholesterol, rheumatic heart disease and non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Further details can be found at:


About WHF

The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against CVD, including heart disease and stroke. We are the only global advocacy and leadership organization bringing together the entire CVD community to drive the CVD agenda and help people live longer, better, more heart-healthy lives. We and our Members – more than 200 organizations, scientific societies, foundations and patient associations in over 100 countries – believe in a world where heart health for everyone is a fundamental human right and a crucial element of global health justice. Because every heartbeat matters.

For more information on WHF, please visit:, and


About WHF Global Roadmaps

In 2014, the World Heart Federation launched an initiative to develop a series of Global Roadmaps, with the aim to identify potential roadblocks on the pathway to effective prevention, detection and management of CVD, along with evidence-based solutions to overcome them. The resulting documents provide a framework to translate strategic intent into action on integrating epidemiology, population and cardiovascular outcome trial data into national plans for optimal CVD management.

The Roadmap publications have become the cornerstone of WHF activities as resources for implementation to guide initiatives to support heart health globally, translating science into policy and influencing agencies, governments and policymakers alike.

With this framework, countries can develop or update national NCD programmes aligned with the WHF Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020. The overall aim is to drive efforts within national agendas to meet the ambitious target set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals: a 30% reduction in premature mortality caused by NCDs, including CVD, by 2030.