Every year on September 29 we observe World Heart Day which was established to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Responsible for more than 17 million deaths each year worldwide, CVD is the world’s number one cause of death. World Heart Day is the day for the global population to participate in a worldwide intervention against those factors which contribute to CVD.
This year’s World Heart Day focus will be on providing a heart healthy environment where you live, work, and play. It’s time to pay particular attention to things which may be deleterious to a healthy heart. Perhaps making an effort towards a more heart healthy diet, cessation of smoking, getting serious about exercise, or spicing up a sedentary lifestyle.
The most prevalent risk factor in CVD is high blood pressure, followed closely by high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels. Regular check-ups with your family doctor can determine whether you have any of these risk factors and, if so, help you get them under control. It is important to make and keep appointments with your doctor and for you to know your vitals.
It is also important to know the warning signs of CVD which can be insidious and diverse. These include things like discomfort in the chest or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, fatigue, or fainting. Any one of these signs could point to the onset of heart issues. Another serious consideration should be to get CPR/AED trained so if you see someone experiencing a heart related event, you can save a life!
More information about World Heart Day can be found at this website. There will be planned events all over the world that day – perhaps there will be one near you.