World Heart Day

World Heart Day endeavours to bring people together to take action against cardiovascular disease (CVD). A brainchild of the World Heart Federation, it brings awareness about CVD to people across the world. It also seeks to drive global action against heart diseases and their significant risk factors. Risk factors include unhealthy lifestyle decisions, unhealthy diets and use of tobacco.

Since 2000, the World Heart Federation has held an annual event every last Sunday of September, a practice which evolved to the current tradition to celebrate World Heart Day on every 29th September.  CVD is recognised as the leading cause of death globally. According to the Global Burden of Disease study, India registers an estimated age-standardized CVD death rate of 272 per 100000 population, drastically worse than the global average of 235 per 100000 populations. Alarming trends including the early age onset of the disease within the population and high fatality rate continue to plague India.

World Heart Day

Risk Factors

Having witnessed the dismal track record of CVD globally, we must understand the risk factors that contribute to heart disease. Prevalent risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Dyslipidaemia
  • Dietary habits and exercise
  • Genetic risk factors
  • Emerging risk factors

World Heart Day

Best Practices

Any endeavour to counter this epidemic will involve a focused research-based strategy, practices promoting early detection and an amalgamation of both conventional and unconventional means to treat CVDs. In the spirit of World Heart Day, here are a few tips to ensure greater heart care. It includes:

  • Quit smoking
  • Be more active
  • Include more fibre in your diet
  • Cut down saturated fat intake
  • Emphasize eating in a balanced way
  • Cut down on salt
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Pay attention to the food label

Common Myths Dispelled

As a result of improper dissemination, there are quite a few misconceptions regarding proper heart care. The following table seeks to dispel some of those misconceptions:


Myth Fact
1 Heart Ailments does not affect young people. Heart problems are expected only in old age. Young people are vulnerable to heart disease. Obesity, Diabetes and unhealthy lifestyles can affect heart health within the young and middle-aged population.


2 Being young involves being cavalier to nutrition and lifestyles. Exercise is not a priority in life. Young people tend to be careless with their diet habits and lifestyles. They also tend to be misinformed or unaware of the risk factors associated with heart disease. Healthy lifestyle choices now can mitigate the risk of heart disease in the future.


3 High cholesterol is not something young people should be worried about.


Cholesterol levels should be checked every 5 years after attaining the age of 20. It is important to monitor cholesterol levels if you have a family history of high cholesterol levels, which puts you at an increased vulnerability.


4 Having a family history of heart disease renders me vulnerable and selfless to address it.


There are many ways to address a family history of cardiac problems. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can protect you and reduce any risk of cardiac disease in the future. Maintaining good eating habits and controlling cholesterol and blood pressure levels goes a long way to shield you from CADs.


5 High blood pressure is expected when you age.


Blood pressure tends to rise as you age and could lead to greater health care. Checking blood pressure as per the advice of your doctor will help to bring it back to normal levels.


6 Procedures such as angioplasty, stenting or bypass surgery cure your heart



Though these procedures can help improve your health, they do not protect you against atherosclerosis. It is crucial to be mindful of high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and the need to follow a healthy lifestyle.



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