BIREME Bulletin n° 66

World Kidney Day 2022: HEARTS in the Americas and Kidney Health for All

World Kidney Day 2022 was celebrated on March 10th under the theme “Kidney Health for All”. The campaign encourages research on chronic kidney disease, as the continuous and persistent lack of knowledge about this disease is demonstrable at all levels of health care. Data from the international non-profit organization World Kidney Day report that 10% of the world’s population suffers from chronic kidney disease, which, if left untreated, can be fatal. In addition, the mortality rate from the disease increases every year. The knowledge gap on chronic kidney disease limits the fight against it and increases the mortality associated with it.

High blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are the most common causes of kidney disease. Diabetes has been established as the second most common cause of end-stage renal failure in most developed countries. Other less common conditions include inflammation or infections. Some drugs can cause chronic kidney disease, especially pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, if taken for a long time.

Considering the seriousness and impact on the health of populations of the Americas of chronic kidney disease, PAHO/WHO developed the HEARTS in the Americas initiative, which aims to prevent and control cardiovascular diseases through a pragmatic and comprehensive approach that seeks to provide an effective response in the management of hypertension and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Currently, HEARTS is being implemented in 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than 1,000 PHC centers serving more than 8.5 million patients. The HEARTS Initiative seeks to progressively integrate into existing health delivery services to promote the adoption of global best practices in the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death worldwide. The strategy also improves the performance of health services through better blood pressure control and prevention, with an emphasis on the primary health care.

Brazil joined the HEARTS international strategy in March 2021. “This is a priority agenda for our countries. Brazil has more than 380,000 deaths every year from heart disease. A thousand people die a day from cardiovascular disease. Of course, these diseases are not infectious and, therefore, we cannot call them a pandemic. But in terms of number, they are just as important. We signed a cooperation agreement to create a medium and long-term project to reduce cardiovascular mortality”, said the Minister of Health of Brazil, Marcelo Queiroga, during the launch of the initiative in the country. Learn more about the HEARTS initiative in PAHO’s published guide to its implementation

Recently, the HEART initiative has been recognized by the World Heart Awards 2021 in the category of “Advocacy in Cardiovascular Health”. The award, given by the World Heart Federation, honors individuals and organizations for their efforts in the fight against cardiovascular diseases and the promotion of heart health worldwide.

BIREME, in its mission to provide access to scientific and technical information on health, provides information on hypertension – which is closely linked to chronic kidney disease – in the Hypertension Window of Knowledge.


Related Links:

HEARTS in the Americas initiative:

World Heart Awards 2021 –

HEARTS in the Americas: Guide and Essentials for Implementation –

Cardiovascular risk calculator app –

Latin American Society of Nephrology and Hypertension – (in Spanish)

World Kidney Day 2022 –

Hypertension Window of Knowledge –

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