World Heart Day, observed on 29 September every year, is dedicated to raise awareness for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), which is the biggest cause of deaths worldwide. The day is an opportunity for people across the globe to unite and promote preventive measures to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The World Heart Federation in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) will be organising events in over 100 countries, which will include health checks, organised walks, runs and fitness sessions, public talks, stage shows, scientific forums, exhibitions, concerts, carnivals and sports tournaments.
The theme for World Heart Day 2012 is ‘One World, One Home, One Heart’, which is a continuation of last year’s campaign to prevent CVDs among women and children. Together with non-profit organisations and health bodies, the World Heart Federation seeks to make people aware of the fact that 80 per cent of deaths from heart diseases and stroke could be avoided if the risk factors are curbed.
Cardiovascular disease is commonly considered as an ‘old man’s disease, though half of the deaths occur in women. Besides women underestimating their CVD risk, children are also at the risk of contracting the diseases since the control over environment and choices to live heart-healthy is limited. Raised blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, smoking, inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables, obesity and physical inactivity are potential risks factors for stroke and heart attack.
This year’s mass awareness campaign comprises several heart-healthy activities for women and children, seeking to make their hearts healthy. Moreover, the World Heart Federation aims for success in meeting their strategic goals, which include:
Cardiovascular diseases are world’s biggest killers, accounting for 17.3 million deaths a year. By 2030, the toll of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases will reach 23 million annually, which is more than the current population of Australia.
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