World Heart Day
falls on 29th September 2011
. On this day, The World Heart Federation (WHF)
underlines the importance of heart health for individuals and their families with the crucial message that "heart health is in one's own hands".
The WHF urges everyone to look after themselves, and their families and work in a focused manner to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. 80% of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented with diet and lifestyle changes. Therefore, 'prevention' of cardiovascular disease is at the heart of WHF initiatives this year.
The theme for World Heart Day 2011, "one world, one home, one heart" presents a challenge to individuals to accept the onus of heart health for the individual and family and champion the cause of heart healthy living.
Cardiovascular disease holds the top rank for killer diseases and is behind 29 per cent of all deaths worldwide each year.
According to the recent WHO report on cardiovascular disease — prevention and control, cardiovascular diseases account for most causes of death and disability. Nearly 17.3 million people succumbed to cardiovascular disease in 2008. 80% of these deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries and men and women were equally affected by it.
Since 80% of cardiovascular diseases can actually be prevented, the rise in numbers of cardiovascular diseases is because we have not taken enough measures to prevent its occurrence.
To give you an idea of what might be in store, based on the present trend, it is estimated that nearly 23.6 million people may die from cardiovascular disease by 2030.
What attacks your heart?
• Unhealthy diet (Food laden with transfats)
• Blood Pressure
• Sedentary lifestyle
Time to Act - Let's get Hearty
The World Heart Federation has provided action points for you and your family to reduce cardiovascular risks.
• Give up smoking - ensure a smoke-free environment for you and your family
• Ensure your home is a storehouse of healthy food choices
• Ensure consumption of at least five servings of fruits and vegetables everyday
• Be active- discourage sedentary pursuits and restrict time spent on the computer and television. 30 minutes of regular exercise which can be brisk walking, cycling, swimming or any other aerobic activity is known to boost heart health
• Regular exercise is known to keep stress under control and ward off depression
• Evaluate blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels along with waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index (BMI) periodically. This can help ascertain cardiovascular risk.
It might be heartening to know that 80% of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by adopting the above measures. If you haven't already, World Heart Day 2011 is a good time to kick start a heart healthy lifestyle.