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Global health: where do cardiologists fit in?
  1. Mohammed W Akhter1,
  2. G.Titus Ngeno1,
  3. Gerald S Bloomfield1,2
  1. 1 Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center and Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2 Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gerald S Bloomfield, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27705, USA; gerald.bloomfield{at}

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The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals aim to reduce deaths from non-communicable diseases by one-third by 2030. In addition, the member states of the UN have agreed in principle to take action to decrease cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related mortality by 25% by 2025.1 While there was a decrease in age-specific deaths globally from 2007 to 2017, total CVD deaths rose by 21% during the same time period.2 The primary drivers for this were the ageing of populations, overall population growth and epidemiological trends in CVD. In low-income and middle-income countries, increases in gross domestic product per capita and associated predicted decreases in the CVD burden did not reduce mortality overall.3

Improvements in education and wealth have historically been associated with improvements in the overall health of communities. However, the reality is that there is an initial phase of adoption of deleterious risk behaviours, like consumption of high-caloric/high-fat diets, increased smoking and adherence to sedentary lifestyles, that may undo any potential gains expected from prosperity.4 5 The poorest in society and those …

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  • Contributors All listed authors' contributions include the conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and final approval of the version published. Regarding responsibility for overall content, the lead author, GSB, is the guarantor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.