CDC Foundation, Amgen Announce Program to Increase Awareness and Knowledge of Cardiovascular Diseases Globally

Global partnership seeks to improve health outcomes for people living with CVD in low- and middle-income countries  

ATLANTA—According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for nearly 18 million deaths in 2016 alone. More than three-quarters of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. To increase understanding of this globally important issue, the CDC Foundation and Amgen are partnering on a new global cardiovascular health initiative to support independent epidemiological research by the University of Oxford and technological and evaluation research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The five-year effort aims to expand the evidence base for CVD risk factors, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries, by supporting the collection and analysis of data to improve understanding of the causes of CVD and interventions that may improve patient outcomes.

“The CDC Foundation is proud to be a part of this global cardiovascular disease partnership, and we are grateful to Amgen for their support,” said Judith Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “It is our hope this work will provide a greater understanding of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and inform diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies in low- and middle-income countries.”

According to WHO, approximately 30 million people suffer a heart attack or stroke annually. The CDC Foundation partnership will strengthen the global evidence base for CVD risk factors, support training and fellowships to develop future leaders in CVD epidemiology and explore the feasibility of point-of-care testing in low- and middle-income countries. This partnership will incorporate the expertise and technical assistance of globally recognized health research organizations through three distinct work streams: 

  • Support existing epidemiological studies in countries such as Cuba, India, Mexico and Russia that are part of the Richard Doll Consortium―the world's largest consortium of principal investigators coordinated by the University of Oxford;  
  • Test the suitability of point-of-care testing devices in selected low- and middle-income countries to be conducted by the CDC Lipids Standardization Program; and 
  • Evaluate the current hyperlipidemia data environment to establish a baseline of existing evidence on hyperlipidemia burden, diagnostics and treatment.

“Amgen is committed to meeting the needs of people who are living with CVD throughout the world by advancing the awareness and understanding of CVD and helping support appropriate diagnosis as well as treatment,” said Darryl Sleep, MD, senior vice president, global medical and chief medical officer, Amgen. “We are pleased to partner with the CDC Foundation as part of this pivotal initiative to conduct research that could help lead to the prevention of CVD globally, especially in low-and-middle income countries where CVD deaths are becoming increasingly common as the populations increase and age.”    

Professor Sarah Lewington, coordinator of the Richard Doll Consortium at the University of Oxford said, “This partnership will help support epidemiologists conducting large studies of cardiovascular disease in low- and middle-income countries. These studies are generating valid, reliable, country-specific evidence on some of the major causes of cardiovascular disease and so providing the scientific foundation for data-driven national and global public health strategies.”

About the CDC Foundation
The CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) save and improve lives by unleashing the power of collaboration between CDC, philanthropies, corporations, organizations and individuals to protect the health, safety and security of America and the world. The CDC Foundation is the sole entity authorized by Congress to mobilize philanthropic partners and private-sector resources to support CDC’s critical health protection mission. Since 1995, the CDC Foundation has launched approximately 1,000 programs and raised over $800 million. The CDC Foundation managed nearly 300 CDC-led programs in the United States and in more than 130 countries last year. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

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About the Richard Doll Consortium
The Richard Doll Consortium brings together more than 100 internationally-renowned epidemiologists conducting population-based studies. Its aims are to: monitor the effects of hypertension, smoking, obesity and diabetes, and other major causes of non-communicable disease (NCD) mortality in different populations over multiple decades; strengthen LMIC research capacity; and develop future leaders in NCD epidemiology who are well-equipped to inform national and global health policy. The Consortium is coordinated by the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU) within the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford.  

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