Across the globe, cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of mortality. An estimated 18.6 million people died from CVDs in 2019, representing 33% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke. Over three-quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization.
World Heart Day
Seeing this data, experts emphasize the urgent need for awareness about cardiovascular disease prevention and its timely treatment. Thus, World Heart Day is an amazing platform to spread awareness about how one can prevent and protect against cardiac diseases and reduce the mortality caused by them.
Every year 29 September is celebrated as World Heart Day. It was started by the World Heart Foundation. It is a global campaign through which the federation unites people in the fight against the CVD burden as well as inspires and drives international action to encourage heart-healthy living. This year’s theme is ‘Use heart for every heart’.
Cardiovascular diseases in India
Cardiovascular disease accounts for 28.1% of total deaths and 14.1% of total disability-adjusted life years (DALY) in India in 2016, according to a Lancet report published in 2018. DALY acts as a tool to measure the overall burden of disease that is expressed in terms of years lost owing to ill health, disability, or early death. It compares the overall life expectancy of different countries. The most common cardiovascular diseases in India are Ischaemic heart disease and stroke, which contribute to 61.4% and 24.9% of total DALYs from cardiovascular diseases, respectively.
The heart is the first and last sign of life. As it is essential for one’s survival, we all need to take extra care of our hearts. The primary reasons for heart disease are lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating, smoking, and alcohol. People having co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol need to be even more vigilant towards heart health.
Heart-related diseases have substantially increased over the past several decades both in rural and urban populations. The rate of coronary artery disease (CAD) has risen from 1.6 percent to 7.4 percent in rural people and from 1 percent to 13.2 percent in urban populations. The risk of developing hypertension increases as we age. This is mainly because the arteries get stiffer with our increasing age which further affects blood pressure levels. A recent survey by ICMR has shown that 28 percent of adults in India have hypertension, and nearly 77 percent are undiagnosed, leading to a high burden of hypertension in the country. Conditions like heart attacks are medical emergencies that require immediate medical attention. Here timely treatment is very essential to save a person’s life.
Lifestyle that can help prevent heart disease
- Consume a diet that is rich in fiber, protein, and low in fat.
- Never skip your breakfast. It is the most important meal of your day. Your breakfast portion size should be bigger than your lunch and dinner. Dinner should be the smallest.
- Being physically active for 30 minutes daily for 5 days a week could help you prevent heart diseases.
- Take a proper night’s sleep of 8 hours irrespective of how busy you are.
- Quit smoking and alcohol as much as possible.
- Try doing meditation, yoga or any relaxation technique on a regular basis.