World Heart Day observed on September 29

This article is on World Heart Day, observed on 29 th of September. Heart diseases have earned a notoriety of being cause for one third of all deaths worldwide. However as per WHO 80% of premature heart attacks and stocks are preventable. Hence World Health Day is observed since2000 by partnership of World Heart Federation and World Health Organisation to spread awareness and prepare people to take prevention ways.

What is the relevance of World Heart day

Heart diseases and heart problems account for one of the largest causes of in the world. They cause about one third of all deaths in the world and thus became the number one death causer. Most of the heart diseases and heart problems are contributed by wrong life styles, wrong food intake habits and avoidable habits like smoking. It was felt that proper awareness on this will help reduce fatalities related to cardio vascular diseases and problems. Towards this end World Heart Federation (WHF), in partnership with World Heath Organisation (WHO) organizes and observes the World Heart Day since 2000. Till last year the day was observed as last Sunday in September. But from this year onwards it will be always 29th September.

World Health Federation and activities for World Heart Day

World Health Federation aims at control and prevention of heart diseases by making campaigns and activities promoting awareness, information exchange among all who are involved in heart care (cardiovascular) and promoting health by proper diets and avoidance of tobacco use.
The activities relating to World Heart Day involve relevant events and campaigns in about 100 countries worldwide. In promoting awareness in women, the WHF is having a Go Red for Women campaign. WHF also conducts the World Congress on Cardiology ever two years.

What are the risk factors for heart

The following are some of the general risk factors for hear diseases.

  • Obesety and overweight. Body Mass Index above 25 is considered a risk factor.
  • Hypertension- People having consistently high blood pressure levels of diastolic pressure above 90 and systolic pressure 140 are having a risk factor for heart diseases. Studies indicate that every increase of 10 in diastolic level increases the risk by double.
  • Above normal levels of cholesterol factor LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) are another strong risk factor in coronary diseases.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes is a major factor for Cardiovascular diseases.(CVD) Diabetics have two times the risk of CVD than the non-diabetics.
  • Smoking- smoking a major risk for heart.
  • Lack of physical inactivity- Just sedentary life without any physical activity is a major contributor to mortality. Increasing physical activity highly reduces the risk of diabetes and heart problems.

What are symptom of heart attack

Some of the probable signs of a heart attack are:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest at the centre between the breasts.
  • pain spreading to both hands, back, neck stomach and other upper parts of the body
  • Difficulty or shortness of breath (with or without pain)
  • pain similar to that caused by gas or undigestion
  • unusual or abnormal fatigue, giddiness and likely collapse
  • sudden 'cold sweating'

What are symptoms of stroke

Some of the general symptoms of stroke are sudden feeling of:

  • Fatigue and weakness especially on one side of face, arms, jaws hands, legs
  • trouble in vision
  • giddiness, losing balance or 'pulling' to one side and problem in walking
  • difficulty in speech, or moving tongue, a general confusion
  • a sudden unreasonable splitting headache

What are the ways to be followed to prevent heart diseases

It is a relief to know that eighty percent of

Do not smoke or quit smoking.

Avoid smoking, or if already smoker, quit smoking forthwith. WHF says that the coronary disease risk is reduced by half just one year after quitting smoking and is same a of a non-smoker after fifteen years of quitting.

Follow healthy food habits

Foods with high saturated fat content and more salt have to be avoided or reduced. Foods should contain more fruits and vegetables. .This helps toa large extent in prevention of cardio vascular diseases.

Engaging in physical activity

Instead of sedentary routine, one has to involve in activities like walking, cycling, playing some games. WHF point that just 30 minutes of such activity a day can to a large extent prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Routine tests for risk indicators

One should periodically undergo tests levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar level, Body Mass Index and get it evaluated by a medical professional on the risks and suitable remedial measures to be taken under medical advice.


As per WHO the good news is that " 80% of premature heart attacks and strokes are preventable. Healthy diet, regular physical activity, and not using tobacco products are the keys to prevention.". It is our heart. Let us take care of it.
Heartily yours.
World Heart Day 2011-campaign banner by World Heart Federation

(image courtesy-thanks-World Heart Federation)

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