1. Hill, Martha N. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Mensah, George A. MD, FACP, FACC

Article Content

The global epidemic of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other chronic diseases calls for multidisciplinary and multiprofessional approaches with strategic emphasis on prevention, treatment, and control. In addition, there is increasing recognition that effective management of these chronic diseases requires greater patient, family, and community involvement, as well as a skilled and diverse workforce that pays attention to the social, environmental, and policy determinants of health. Nowhere are these approaches and strategies brought together, and more closely aligned, than in the field of preventive cardiovascular nursing.


The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association and the editors and authors are to be commended for conceiving, writing, and publishing this timely supplement. The contents reflect the major shifts in recognition of the need to address chronic diseases as well as infectious diseases and the critical need for team-based approaches. Its publication, following on the heels of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report,1Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World: A Critical Challenge to Achieve Global Health, is not only fortuitous but also timely! This IOM report recognizes the complex, interwoven determinants that call for a multilevel, comprehensive integrated approach across the life span and embedded in public health principles. It emphasizes the integration of a chronic disease model for the prevention and control of CVD rather than the traditional acute-care episodic model.


Much like the IOM report, this supplement highlights the growing burden of CVD. It stresses the need for a diverse, multidisciplinary, multiprofessional skilled workforce with attention to interventions for lifestyle and behavior change across the life span; and effective interventions well integrated into existing maternal, child health, and communicable disease prevention priorities within health system strengthening, rather than as a parallel and separate endeavor. "Global Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Call to Action for Nursing" is also a practical guide that addresses an important gap in the planning, provision, and evaluation of cardiovascular care and chronic illness. It provides practical examples of successful nurse-led models in the primary and secondary prevention of CVD. By focusing comprehensively on the role of nursing, it broadens the approach and potential effectiveness in the delivery of CVD prevention and control as well as nursing leadership and innovation in efforts to stem this global epidemic.


From a policy perspective, it is also fortuitous that this call to action for nurses comes in the same year as the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Noncommunicable Diseases.2 The multiple levels at which policy and environmental changes impact cardiovascular health and chronic illness and the crucial role of advocacy at the community, national, and regional levels are well addressed in this supplement. There could be no better time than now to rally a truly multidisciplinary array of professionals to stem the tide of the rising burden CVD and other chronic diseases worldwide.


We highly recommend this supplement to all professionals interested in cardiovascular health and believe it should be required reading for all nurses with a passion for global CVD prevention.




1. Institute of Medicine. Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World: A Critical Challenge to Achieve Global Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2010. [Context Link]


2. The NCD Alliance. NCD Alliance Plan for the United Nations Summit on Noncommunicable Diseases. NCD Alliance. 2010. Accessed November 6, 2010. [Context Link]