NovartisGlobal Heart Hub and Novartis announced the launch of the Invisible Nation program. Invisible Nation will bring together a worldwide network of patient organizations and other stakeholders in the cardiovascular (CV) space committed to effecting systemic change in the management of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The program aims to prevent many of the 15 million yearly ASCVD deaths(1) and reduce what could soon become $1 trillion in annual CV disease cost(2).

Although the vast majority of ASCVD-related deaths are preventable(3), most countries are not yet on course to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) goal of a 25% reduction in CV mortality by 2025(3). Invisible Nation will highlight the human and societal costs of ASCVD, advocate for high-level government commitments to tackle the disease and bring forward innovative partnerships and novel access models that can fast-track a worldwide effort to reduce ASCVD-related mortality.

"Many are surprised to learn that millions and millions of people die each year from ASCVD, and they are even more surprised when they realize that this terrible loss of life is roughly 60% higher than the number of deaths attributed to cancer," said Neil Johnson, Executive Director of the Global Heart Hub. "This is a shocking fact, and even more shocking is that 80% of CV events can be prevented. Patient organizations have an opportunity - and a responsibility - to expose the realities of ASCVD, leading to a better prognosis and reduction in premature deaths. By increasing awareness, we will activate change."

Invisible Nation will advocate for policy-shaping efforts to rewrite how governments, health systems and others can work together to change the trajectory of ASCVD and begin a generational decline in CV death.

Starting today, Global Heart Hub will begin working with patient groups and CV stakeholders to finalize the action plan and align on specific initiatives designed to help governments and health systems reach the WHO goal of a 25% reduction in CV mortality by 20253. Novartis will assist this community-driven movement by helping network members access the information and evidence needed to engage with local health systems, health authorities and policymakers.

Alongside Invisible Nation, Novartis supports the recent Declaration of the G20 Health Ministers, which acknowledges that non-communicable diseases, such as CV disease, may increase the severity and risk of death from COVID-19. Novartis is also committed to working with renowned thought leaders, medical societies, health authorities and non-governmental organizations around the world to highlight the urgency to treat CV disease and identify new partnership models for broader access to innovation and healthcare system transformation.

"We see Invisible Nation as a catalyst for action among patient organizations worldwide," said Marie-France Tschudin, President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. "The groups that speak for the millions of people globally who die from ASCVD have a powerful mandate to ensure that it is recognized and addressed as the number one killer in the world. Novartis is proud to partner with Global Heart Hub and take this next concrete step to reverse this health crisis and make the loss of life and financial cost of ASCVD unignorable."

To learn more, visit

About Invisible Nation

Currently 300 million people live with ASCVD(1) - more than the populations of Canada, South Africa, France, Mexico and Singapore combined - a number that is quietly growing(4). After recognizing that the significant prevalence of ASCVD continues to hide in plain sight, Global Heart Hub and Novartis decided to create Invisible Nation. The name of the program reflects the massive unseen burden, which can no longer be ignored. Visit for ASCVD resources and access to upcoming conferences and virtual events, which will feature key opinion leaders, patient groups, experts, policymakers and others.

About Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD)

Atherosclerosis corresponds to the accumulation of lipids over time, mainly low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the inner lining of the arteries. Unexpected rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque can cause an atherosclerotic cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke(5-6). ASCVD accounts for over 85% of all cardiovascular disease deaths(3). ASCVD is the primary cause of death in the European Union(7). The number of deaths from ASCVD is roughly 60% higher than the number of deaths attributed to cancer(8). ASCVD risk equivalent corresponds to conditions that confer a similar risk for an ASCVD event (e.g., diabetes, heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia)(9-10).

About Novartis in Cardiovascular-Renal-Metabolism

Cardiovascular (CV), renal and metabolic diseases are a global health crisis(3,11-13). These chronic, complex and often hereditary diseases are frequently inter-related, and come with healthcare and treatment barriers and a lack of transformative medicines and almost always lead to the same outcome: death due to CV disease(3,11-13).

CV disease is the number one killer in the world(3). Taking more lives than all cancers combined, it contributes to one in every three deaths globally(3,14). Of all CV events, 80% can be prevented(15). Patients and their families deserve better, and our society deserves more.

Thanks to a combination of our legacy, global footprint and leading science, Novartis is uniquely positioned to help change this landscape. We are transforming the way we think about the relationship between these diseases and how they are managed throughout life. Our efforts include the use of early interventions and the development of pioneering treatments that address the spectrum of CV, renal and metabolic diseases, from prevention to management, as well as the creation of innovative access models. By re-writing the way we work with society, we will lead a worldwide effort to improve health outcomes and roll back the crisis of CV death.

Our goal is to bend the curve of life by reducing and stopping premature death from CV disease.

About Novartis

As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 110,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world.

1. Roth GA, Mensah GA, Johnson CO, et al. Global Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases and Risk Factors, 1990-2019: Update from the GBD 2019 Study [published correction appears in J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021;77(15):1958-1959]. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;76(25):2982-3021.
2. Bloom DE, Cafiero ET, Jané-Llopis E, et al. The Global Economic Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases. Geneva: World Economic Forum. 2011.
3. World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Available at: [Last accessed October 2021]
. 4. Barquera S, Pedroza-Tobías A, Medina C, et al. Global Overview of the Epidemiology of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. Arch Med Res. 2015;46(5):328-338.
5. Mayo Clinic. Arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis. Available at: [Last accessed October 2021].
6. Goldstein J, Brown M. A century of cholesterol and coronaries: from plaques to genes to statins. Cell. 2015;161(1):161-172.
7. OECD/The King’s Fund. Is Cardiovascular Disease Slowing Improvements in Life Expectancy?: OECD and The King’s Fund Workshop Proceedings. OECD Publishing, Paris. 2020.
8. World Health Organization (WHO). Noncommunicable diseases. Available at: [Last accessed October 2021].
9. Ray K, Wright R, Kallend D, et al. Two Phase 3 Trials of Inclisiran in Patients with Elevated LDL Cholesterol. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(16):1507-1519.
10 National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) final report. Circulation. 2002;106(25):3143-3421.
11. National Kidney Foundation. Global Facts: About Kidney Disease. Available at: [Last accessed October 2021].
12. Levey AS, Atkins R, Coresh J, et al. Chronic kidney disease as a global public health problem: approaches and initiatives - a position statement from Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes. Kidney Int. 2007;72(3):247-259.
13. World Health Organization. Diabetes. Available at: [Last accessed October 2021].
14. American Cancer Society. Global Cancer Facts & Figures 4th Edition. Available at: [Last accessed October 2021].
15. World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular diseases - Data and statistics. [Last accessed October 2021].