International Charter on Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation: A CALL FOR ACTION


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Abstract

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in both women and men globally and is a growing epidemic in low- to middle-income countries. Without systematic access to cardiac rehabilitation (CR), these individuals may experience multiple recurrent acute care events and suffer unnecessarily premature death. The 2 aims of this Charter are (1) to bring together national associations from around the world to harmonize efforts in promoting cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation and (2) to document consensus among national associations globally, regarding the internationally common core elements and benefits of cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation. The Global Charter on CR calls to action those responsible for administering patient care to (a) establish CR as an obligatory, not optional service, and (b) to support countries to establish and augment programs of CR to ensure broad access to these proven services. In addition, the Charter calls for CR organizations and associations in high-income countries to collaborate with those in low- to middle-income countries, to support capacity building and provide tangible toolkits for program development and maintenance. The aim of this Charter is to maintain and grow this global consortium through partnerships with international organizations and to consider and communicate ongoing consensus of evidence-based standards for CR worldwide.

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