Health institute signs first international partnership

  • Date

    Thu 16 Jun 22

A close-up of surgeons' hands during an operation

Tackling global heart disease will be the aim of the Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing’s first international partnership.

The Institute’s Director, Professor Mariachiara Di Cesare has signed a two-year agreement with the World Heart Federation (WHF) which will offer Essex researchers the chance to support WHF’s new World Heart Observatory.

“Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one cause of death, claiming an estimated 18.6 million lives in 2019. An estimated 80 per cent of those deaths could be prevented with early interventions and we’re keen to play a major role in providing the scientific evidence that can ensure no one is left behind,” Professor Di Cesare said.

“Data and information are key to understanding needs, trends, causes, responses, and prediction in global cardiovascular health and this partnership will help our research community play a crucial role in the collection and analysis of that data,” she added.

The World Heart Observatory, which was launched in February, will collate high-quality data from different sources to provide the most reliable information related to cardiovascular conditions, risk factors, and interventions.

A new postdoctoral fellow, co-funded by the University and WHF, will support the Observatory’s development priorities for 2022. They will review existing sources of data, identify new sources of data, contribute to data analysis and contribute new ideas for research development.

“This is a very exciting collaboration which we hope will be the first-step of a long-lasting partnership that will promote co-operation, discussions and positive academic relations between Essex and WHF, to create new synergies and opportunities for our research communities, providing scientific support and development of new ideas,” said Professor Di Cesare.

“It’s a unique opportunity to work with a leading organisation in global cardiovascular health with more than 200 heart foundations, scientific societies and patient organisations in more than 100 countries. WHF’s mission to promote heart health and drive change at the local, regional and global level is perfectly aligned with the IPHW’s vision of generating evidence and robust research that has a global impact,” she added.

Professor Pablo Perel, WHF Senior Science Advisor said: "One of the unique aspects of the World Heart Observatory is its ambitious aim to go beyond epidemiological and medical knowledge and include the factors and policies that affect treatment, care access and outcomes. The challenge of tackling the world’s leading cause of death can be faced only by breaking down silos through data from diverse and robust international sources, across countries and sectors.”

“WHF’s partnership with the University of Essex paves the way for world-class research that can be applied to solving challenges in improving and expanding cardiovascular health. Our partnership will help capture the evidence for guiding the policies essential to changing the course of cardiovascular diseases worldwide,” he concluded.

Hear more about the World Heart Observatory from Professor Di Cesare