` World Heart Day 2021: Take charge of your health

World Heart Day 2021: Take charge of your health

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About World Heart Day

World Heart Day is an annual event that is organized on 29th September by the World Heart Federation. The day is observed to promote awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and to motivate people all over the world to take charge of their heart health.

How it all began

World Heart Day was first observed on September 24, 2000. The idea for the annual event was first mooted by Antoni Bayés de Luna, President of the World Heart Federation (1997-99). Interestingly, until 2011, Word Heart Day was observed on the last Sunday of September.

Theme of World Heart Day 2021

"Use Heart to Connect" is the theme of World Heart Day 2021. The aim of this year’s theme is to harness the potential of telehealth to enhance awareness, prevention, and management of cardiovascular diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cardiovascular Diseases: Overview

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a category of disorders of the heart and blood vessels. CVDs are believed to be the leading causes of deaths from non-communicable diseases globally. Some of the most common CVDs are coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral arterial disease.

Global burden of cardiovascular diseases

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.79 crore people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2019. 85% of these deaths were caused by heart attack and stroke. Low-and middle-income countries like India accounted for more than 75% of CVD related deaths in 2019.

Symptoms of cardiovascular diseases

A cardiovascular disease usually doesn’t always cause a noticeable symptom. Often, a heart attack or stroke is first sign of a CVD. Common symptoms of heart attack are pain or discomfort in the centre of the chest, arms, left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back.

Risk factors for cardiovascular diseases

Unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, tobacco use, and intake of alcohol are the major behavioural risk factors of CVDs. The effects of these factors often manifest as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Other common risk factors include old age, gender (male), and family history.

Major complications of cardiovascular diseases

Unless diagnosed and treated on time, cardiovascular diseases can significantly increase the risk of severe and life-threatening health complications like heart failure, heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and sudden cardiac arrest.

Ways to prevent cardiovascular diseases

Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, following a healthy diet that is low in salt, sugar and saturated fat, and reducing the use of alcohol and tobacco are some of the proven preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

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