Cardiovascular disease is now the number- one killer around the globe, accounting for more than 30 percent of deaths worldwide and 45 percent of deaths in the industrial nations. Cardiovascular disease also keeps millions of people from living full lives. Without effective prevention and intervention efforts, these numbers will soar in coming years. Putting a halt to this global pandemic is the purpose of the second annual World Heart Day, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2001.

Sponsored by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day will educate people about the risk of heart disease and stroke and encourage them to take action to prevent them. Cardiovascular organizations and other groups around the globe will sponsor a wide range of activities with the theme of ``a heart for life.'' The American College of Cardiology is helping with cholesterol screenings in its Bethesda, Md. community; the Ghana Heart Foundation will offer cardiovascular screenings; and the Pakistan Cardiac Society will train people to give smoking cessation workshops. Other activities include seminars, art exhibits, essay contests, heart-healthy food festivals-even a jump-rope competition for children in Hong Kong.

World Congress of Cardiology
The World Heart Federation also sponsors a World Congress of Cardiology every four years. The 1998 Congress was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and was attended by nearly 15,000 active members. The Fourteenth Congress will take place in 2002 in Sydney, Australia and the Fifteenth Congress is scheduled in 2006 in Barcelona, Spain. Regional meetings are currently planned in China, Middle East, Central America and the Caribbean.

These meetings provide comprehensive programs offering the opportunity to review the contemporary aspects of diagnosis and management of CVD and to develop strategies for a better health and quality of life. They also allow leading authorities in cardiovascular disease throughout the world to share knowledge and expertise and give them the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest.

The World Heart Federation is a nongovernmental organization that promotes the study, prevention, and care of cardiovascular diseases throughout the world. Membership is made up of cardiology societies and heart foundations from 95 countries. The American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke have teamed up in the United States to ensure that the message of living a healthy lifestyle for the lifetime benefit of the heart gets heard.

The World Heart Federation was originally formed in 1978 by a merger of the International Society of Cardiology (ISC) and the International Cardiology Federation (ICF) which became the International Society and Federation of Cardiology (ISFC). It is only in 1998 that the ISFC changed its name to the World Heart Federation.

To learn more, visit www.worldheart.org