Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association backs UN agreement on non-communicable diseases, urges members and partners to act

Nurses will play a key role in education about risk factors and prevention of non-communicable diseases

MADISON, Wis. - The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) is pleased to announce their support of the United Nations agreement to fight non-communicable diseases globally, which was signed at a high-level UN Summit last week in New York City.

Early last week, world health leaders met at the summit to discuss the burden of non-communicable diseases and approved a political declaration to address this significant global health challenge that takes the lives of 36 million out of a total of 57 million people affected annually. The declaration's main focus is prevention of the world's four leading groups of non-communicable diseases: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer.

According to a release from the UN News Centre, the steps to curb the risk factors for these diseases include "price and tax measures to reduce tobacco consumption to curbing the extensive marketing to children, particularly on television, of foods and beverages that are high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, sugars, or salt. Other measures seek to cut the harmful consumption of alcohol, promote overall healthy diets and increase physical activity."

World leaders know that this is a massive effort and will take governments, individuals, civic organizations and businesses to make an impact, but is "a public necessity".

PCNA is urging its members, contacts, supporters, and partners to do their part in supporting this important prevention effort. The declaration calls for these groups to "reduce exposure of patients, employees and family to risks, and strengthen health care for people with non-communicable diseases".

"Nurses and advanced practice nurses are a key group of leaders that can help make a difference by educating patients about risk factors for non-communicable diseases," says Joyce Ross, MSN, CRNP, CS, CLS, FNLA, FPCNA, President, PCNA Board of Directors. "Nurses are already leaders in prevention and will have a large impact on the awareness of this worldwide effort."

To help support nurses and other health care professionals with prevention education, PCNA offers free materials on high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease prevention guidelines for women and other topics to share with patients. They are available for order at

Read additional coverage of the declaration and the NCD Alliance