Healthy Hearts, Happy Lives: World Heart Day

The heart is a  remarkable organ in the human body that not only sustains our life but also symbolizes love, compassion, and vitality. Every beat is a rhythm of our existence, a reminder of our fragility and strength. It’s only fitting that we celebrate this organ which keeps our life together on World Heart Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about heart diseases and the importance of leading heart-healthy lives.

World Heart Day, observed annually on September 29th, is a global campaign initiated by the World Heart Federation (WHF) since 2000. Its core objectives are to raise awareness about cardiovascular health, encourage heart-healthy lifestyles, advocate for equitable healthcare access, unite global efforts against heart disease and stroke, and support fundraising and research for improved heart health.

1. heart related diseases pia chart – Bing

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of global mortality, causing 18.6 million deaths annually. It stems from various factors like smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and even environmental factors. COVID-19 has posed additional risks to the 520 million people with CVD, making them susceptible to severe virus forms and hindering routine healthcare access and social connections.

World Heart Day: History

World Health Day was first founded in 1999 through collaboration between the World Heart Federation (WHF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Antoni Bayés de Luna, President of WHF (1997-2011), conceived the idea of an annual event. Initially, World Heart Day was celebrated on the last Sunday of September. World Heart Day has grown in prominence over the years and is now observed in more than 100 countries.

World Heart Day: Significance

World Heart Day, a joint effort by WHF and WHO, focuses on raising awareness about the harmful effects of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and promoting prevention strategies. It educates people about risk factors like alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, smoking, and poor diet that contribute to heart diseases.

World Heart Day emerged to address the global burden of heart diseases and stroke. It has evolved into an annual, internationally recognized event dedicated to promoting heart health and preventing cardiovascular diseases through education, advocacy, and community engagement.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, over 17 million people die from cardiovascular diseases each year. These diseases, which include heart attacks and strokes, are often preventable through lifestyle changes and early detection.

Most people who die from cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is a heart-related problem, live in countries that aren’t very rich, primarily due to high blood pressure. In 2016, Bharat reported that 63% of its total deaths were due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with 27% attributed to heart diseases (CVDs). Moreover, heart diseases (CVDs) are a major reason behind 45% of deaths among people aged 40 to 69 years.

The heart is a tireless worker, pumping blood tirelessly throughout our bodies, delivering oxygen and nutrients to our cells while removing waste products. It’s a marvel of engineering, capable of beating over two billion times in an average lifetime. But, as robust as it is, our hearts are not invincible.

Symptoms of Heart Attacks and Strokes

Many times, there are no warning signs of underlying blood vessel diseases. Heart attacks or strokes can be the first indicators. Heart attack symptoms include chest pain, arm or shoulder discomfort, difficulty breathing, nausea, sweating, and more. Women may experience different symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain. Stroke symptoms involve sudden weakness in the face, arm, or leg, confusion, vision problems, dizziness, severe headache, or loss of consciousness.

Key Precautions to Prevent Heart Attacks :

Simple habits like a healthy diet and regular exercise can help prevent a heart attack. However, it’s important to note that individual health needs can vary, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance on heart health. Some key precautions to prevent heart attacks are as follows:

a)  Eat fiber-rich, high-protein, low-fat foods.

b)  Start the day with a substantial breakfast, and keep lunch and dinner smaller.

c)  Be active for 30 minutes, at least five days a week.

d) Use stairs, walk short distances, skip lifts.

e)  Aim for 8 hours of quality sleep.

f)   Quit smoking and cut down on alcohol.

g)  Try stress relief: meditation, yoga, deep breathing.

On World Heart Day, let’s appreciate our heart’s essential role and commit to safeguarding it. Celebrate life, prioritize heart health, and raise awareness to combat heart disease and stroke worldwide. Your heart matters daily, not just on World Heart Day.

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