World Heart Day 2018
My Heart, Your Heart
Every year, over 17 million people worldwide, die as a result of cardiovascular diseases with the major ones being heart disease and stroke. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, killing more people than, Cancer, HIV and malaria.
About World Heart Day
World heart day was started in 2000 and since then the day was commemorated on every last Sunday of September, until the year 2010, when the day was moved to the 29th of the same month.
This day aims at creating awareness about heart health globally, bringing the world’s attention to heart disease and the problems it can cause. It focuses on promoting various preventative measures and lifestyle changes that people can incorporate to avoid heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
This year’s theme for the world heart day is; My Heart, Your Heart, which will focus on ensuring that people; individuals, healthcare professionals and policymakers know what to do, to help in the campaign towards promoting healthy hearts around the world.
Statistics of Cardiovascular Disesases
As stated earlier, over 17 million people die each year, from cardiovascular diseases, accounting for 31% of all deaths, worldwide.
Cardiovascular diseases are basically the world’s number one killer, but the good news is that 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke can be avoided by controlling risk factors such as the use of tobacco, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity.
What is your role?
Every individual has a role to play in ending or reducing the number of deaths that occur due to cardiovascular conditions.
In which category do you fall?
You have the responsibility to ensure that you live a healthy lifestyle, to prevent yourself from being part of the statistics of those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, by:
- Not smoking or quitting if you already are,
- Eating a heart healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits and low in calories; either from fats or carbohydrates,
- Remaining physically active by ensuring you do regular exercises at least 30 minutes every day, or find out the most appropriate duration for you because different people have different needs when it comes to exercising,
- Limiting your alcohol intake if you take alcohol,
- Managing conditions such as diabetes properly as it can lead to cardiovascular diseases,
- Properly managing stress, and
- Getting enough sleep.
As a Healthcare Professional
Doing everything to save the lives of those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases.
As a Policymaker
Implementing non-communicable disease action plan towards the fight against cardiovascular diseases. The burden of cardiovascular diseases cannot be addressed through a singular, time-limited commitment but it also requires long-term interventions and sustainable solutions.
Tobacco is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases and one of the major ways through which policymakers can help in the fight against CVDs is by;
- Warning people on the dangers of tobacco use,
- Monitoring tobacco use,
- Raising taxes on tobacco products making them less affordable,
- Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and
- Protecting non-smokers from being exposed to tobacco smoke by creating smoking free-zones.
On this World Heart Day, join the rest of the world in what is the biggest intervention against cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) by making a simple promise to reduce the risk for CVDs for your heart and all our hearts. Whichever category you fall in; as an individual, a medical professional or a policymaker, look after your heart and the hearts of your loved ones.