World Heart Day, celebrated on 29th of September, is an annual event to increase public awareness of cardiovascular diseases, including their prevention and their global impact.
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World Heart Day 2023 serves as a global reminder to prioritize heart health. This year’s campaign, “Use Heart, Know Heart,” encourages everyone to understand their heart, emphasizing that we can only protect and care for what we know. In a world where heart health knowledge is often limited, and policies fall short, this day seeks to break down barriers and empower individuals to take charge of their well-being. When we are better informed, we can take better care.
The significance of World Heart Day lies in the vital role the heart plays in our overall health. Lack of awareness about cardiovascular health and confident lifestyle choices have made cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) a leading global cause of mortality. Shockingly, approximately 1.7 crores people die due to cardiovascular diseases each year, accounting for approximately 31% of all global deaths.
Heart attacks, strokes, and coronary heart disease are among the leading causes of death due to cardiovascular disorders, responsible for nearly 85% of such fatalities. World Heart Day plays a pivotal role in raising awareness and educating people worldwide about the importance of heart health. It also encourages various organizations to actively participate in organizing events that promote awareness.
This year’s theme, “Use Heart, Know Heart,” highlights the need for self-awareness and care for one’s heart. It underscores the idea that understanding our hearts is the first step towards protecting them. In a world where heart health knowledge is limited and policies often insufficient, this theme aims to break down barriers and empower individuals to take control of their well-being. As the theme suggests, we can take better care when we are better informed.
The theme, “Use Heart for Every Heart,” encourages people to channel their thoughts and actions towards improving humanity, nature, and themselves. This collective effort can significantly reduce mortality due to cardiovascular diseases.
Awareness and support for cardiovascular disease management vary across different countries. Unfortunately, poor and developing countries lack access to heart care awareness and facilities, leading to 75% of cardiovascular deaths in these regions. Organizing and participating in global awareness programs can help address this issue and benefit humanity.
Air pollution is another significant contributor to cardiovascular deaths, accounting for 25% of all such deaths and approximately 70 lakh deaths annually worldwide. Everyone can contribute to a healthier environment by fighting air pollution in their way.
Stress and poor lifestyle choices are prominent risk factors for heart attacks. These can be mitigated by adopting healthier habits such as exercise, meditation, and quality sleep.
The history of World Heart Day dates back to 1999, when it was conceptualized by Antoni Baie de Luna, former president of the World Health Federation. Collaborating with the World Health Organization, World Heart Day was officially established in 2000. Initially observed on the last Sunday of September, it transitioned to September 29 to align to reduce global mortality from non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025. Today, more than 90 countries actively organize awareness campaigns and educate people about cardiovascular health.
Maintaining a healthy heart involves various preventive measures:
- Managing body mass index (BMI) within a healthy range.
- Monitoring and controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Limiting sodium intake to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
- Recognizing early signs and symptoms and taking prompt action.
- Embracing an active lifestyle through physical activities.
- Regularly consulting healthcare professionals and participating in awareness programs.
- Consuming a balanced diet while avoiding trans fats and junk foods.
- Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.
- Learning stress management techniques and ensuring quality sleep.
To promote cardiovascular health, consider incorporating exercises like aerobic workouts, resistance training, and activities that improve flexibility, balance, and overall well-being.
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