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World Heart Day

World Heart Day

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  • World Heart Day is observed on 29th September every year
  • The main objective of the campaign is to create public awareness on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) such as heart disease and stroke; and encourage people to follow healthy ways to improve their heart health
  • For this year 2018, the theme is to 'Make Your Heart Promise - For My Heart, For Your Heart, For All Our Hearts.’

World Heart Day is observed annually on 29th September every yearby the World Heart Federation (WHF). The main aim is to create public awareness of the causes, prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) such as heart disease and stroke.


Every year, the theme for World Heart Day is designed to focus on ways to prevent cardiovascular disease and improve heart health of millions of people living across the world. This year the theme for World Heart Day 2018 is to 'Make Your Heart Promise - For My Heart, For Your Heart, For All Our Hearts.

Main Objectives of the Campaign

The primary objective of the campaign is
  • To support and promote awareness of cardiovascular diseases
  • To reduce the number of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases
  • To motivate people to follow a heart-healthy diet and participate in some regular physical activity
  • To educate physicians, pharmacists, health professionals and the public about the prevalence, risk factors, and causes of heart diseases
  • To improve global heart health by encouraging people to engage in healthy lifestyle changes

Need for Celebrating World Heart Day

World heart day is mainly observed to reduce the number of deaths caused due to cardiovascular diseases worldwide. It is an international campaign to create awareness among every individual to live with a healthy heart.

According to a recent study published by the global medical journal, Lancet, the total number of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in India increased to 28 percent in 2016, from 15 percent in 1990. Heart Failure is the leading cause of mortality amongst these CVDs, with close to 23 percent of patients dying within one year of their diagnosis.

Experts suggest that enough attention has not been given to heart failure and thus, the condition has been silently and rapidly killing patients and is leading to repeated hospitalizations.

"With the increasing burden of Heart Failure in India and the associated high death rates, it is necessary to recognize it as a public health priority. Most often, patients are diagnosed when they are first hospitalized with aggravated symptoms or associated cardiac event. Therefore, there is an urgent need to raise mass awareness about the symptoms of heart failure," said Dr. K. Sarat Chandra, President, Cardiological Society of India.

CVD Burden is Mounting Even among Youngsters

Cardiovascular diseases hold a strong grip even on the youngsters due to the lifestyle changes, spiking stress, air pollution and increasing consumption of salt, sugar, and fat. The mean age of heart failure patients in India is 59 years which is approximately ten years younger than patients in the US and Europe.

Timely diagnosis of heart disease and lifestyle modifications along with advanced treatment management protocols are needed to control the growing incidence of cardiovascular diseases, thereby reducing the associated hospitalization and death risk.

All these factors urge the World Heart Federation, in collaboration with the WHO, to spread the important news about heart diseases and highlight the main risk factors to the public worldwide on the World heart day.

Main Reason for Raising Sound Alarm Over Heart Disease
  • More than 17 million people die from heart-related diseases every year
  • Around 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, i.e., one out of every four deaths
  • Nearly 735,000 Americans have a heart attack every year. In which, 525,000 individuals experience a first heart attack, and the rest 210,000 experience a second heart attack
  • Almost 85 percent of all CVD deaths are mainly due to heart attacks and strokes
  • Stroke kills someone in the United States about every 3 minutes 45 seconds
  • In the UK, around 73,000 people die from coronary heart disease (CHD)
  • In Europe, CVD is responsible for 38 percent of male and 37 percent female deaths before the age of 75
  • In India, it is estimated that around 8-10 million people are heart failure patients
  • Around 1/3 of heart failure patients in India die in the hospital within six months of treatment
  • More than 75 percent of CVD deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries

Major Culprits Behind Heart Disease

Do you want to have a healthy heart and live longer? Not just you, every individual is thriving to live a healthy and happy life. Therefore, it is necessary to protect your heart from these following risk factors that may make your heart weak and shorten your life expectancy. The most common dangerous risk factors leading to heart disease and stroke are
  • Increased weight (Obesity)
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Increased glucose level (Diabetes)
  • High levels of bad cholesterol
  • Unhealthy dietary pattern
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive smoking and alcohol use

Smart 10 Ways to Fight against Heart Disease

Here are ten simple ways that can make your heart stay healthy:

Be More Active: Regular physical activity can improve blood circulation and strengthen your heart. So, try to exercise or engage in jogging, walking or cycling for at least 30 minutes every day.

Eat a Heart-healthy Diet: A diet rich in high in fiber and low in saturated fat can help reduce heart disease risk, and cuts down belly fat, thereby promoting healthy weight loss. Consume plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean meats, and fish as part of a healthy diet. Avoid junk foods and highly-processed foods.

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being obese or overweight can increase the risk of heart disease. Excess weight can also lead to other health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. So, make sure to maintain a healthy body weight to prevent the risk of heart disease.

Reduce Bad Cholesterol Levels: High levels of cholesterol can block the normal blood flow into your arteries, thereby increasing the risk of atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and heart attack. Eating a healthy diet, proper lifestyle changes and medications (as prescribed by a doctor) can help reduce the bad cholesterol levels.

Quit Smoking and Restrict Alcohol Consumption: Drinking too much alcohol and smoking cigarettes can increase your blood pressure and put you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you are addicted to smoking or drinking, try to kick the habit to reduce various disease risk and live longer.

Keep Blood Pressure Healthy: High blood pressure (hypertension) is a significant risk factor for heart disease. Make sure to reduce salt consumption and follow a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and make lifestyle changes to prevent or control high blood pressure.

Maintain Normal Blood Sugar and Diabetes: People having diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease. High blood sugar can damage your blood vessels and nerves that control the heart and blood vessels. So, get tested for diabetes, and keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Get Adequate Sleep: Poor sleep or lack of adequate sleep may increase heart disease risk. People who don't get enough sleep (i.e., less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night) have a higher risk of developing obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and depression. Make sure you sleep well to protect your heart health.

Manage Stress: Extreme stress can trigger heart disease risk. Stressed individuals try to cope by overeating, heavy drinking, and smoking which is bad for your heart. So, try to engage yourself in healthy ways such as listening to music, dancing or exercising, gardening, focusing on something calm or peaceful, and meditating.

Get Regular Health Check-up: Regular screening for blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels can tell you what your numbers are and whether you are at risk or not and if you are, then immediate action can be taken.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide. In order to save millions of lives, it is necessary to follow certain lifestyle and dietary modifications that will significantly help reduce the risk of heart disease to improve your heart health. So, let us join together and make a simple promise to eat more healthily, to get more active and say no to smoking and protect all our hearts to live a happy and healthy life.

References :
  1. World Heart Day 2018 - (https://www.world-heart-federation.org/welcome-to-world-heart-day-2018/)
  2. Heart Disease Facts - (https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm)
  3. How to Prevent Heart Disease - (https://medlineplus.gov/howtopreventheartdisease.html)
  4. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2018 - (https://www.heart.org/-/media/data-import/downloadables/heart-disease-and-stroke-statistics-2018---at-a-glance-ucm_498848.pdf)
  5. Cardiovascular disease - (http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/en/)
  6. Key facts & figures - (https://heartuk.org.uk/press/press-kit/key-facts-figures)

Source: Medindia

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