The chaotic streets of Ulaanbaatar are a far stretch from the blue skies of the surrounding countryside. With the ever-increasing traffic caused by rapid urbanization and indoor heating from coal or log fires by former nomads now living on the outskirts of the city, the capital has been covered with dense and dark smog during wintertime.
Ulaanbaatar is one of the world’s most polluted cities. Pollution levels 5 times higher than Beijing have been recorded and there is growing evidence of the association of pollution with the development of NCDs, in particular hypertension.
Better Hearts Better Cities is a Novartis Foundation initiative which seeks to improve cardiovascular health in low-income urban communities by adopting a multisector, multidisciplinary approach to improve the control of hypertension as a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.