World Heart Day takes place on 29th September every year and is the World Heart Federation’s biggest platform for raising awareness about cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. This year, the campaign focuses on looking after our own hearts and the hearts of our loved ones: My heart, your heart
The term cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to any disease of the heart, vascular disease of the brain or disease of the blood vessel. The most prevalent CVD include coronary heart disease (e.g. heart attack) and cerebrovascular disease (e.g. stroke).
- Eat well and drink wisely
- Reduce sugary beverages
- Swap sweet sugary treats for fresh fruit
- Try to eat 5 portions of fruit or vegetables per day
- Keep your alcohol intake within recommended guidelines
- Limit processed and packaged foods
Promise to get more active
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5 times per week, or 75 minutes spread throughout the week of vigorous intensity exercise
- Be more active every day, try taking the stairs and walk or cycle instead of driving
Say no to smoking
- Within 2 years of quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is substantially reduced
- Within 15 years the risk of CVD returns to that of a non smoker
- Exposure to second hand smoke is also a cause of heart disease in non smokers
Knowing your risk
- Check blood glucose levels– high blood glucose can be indicative of diabetes. CVD accounts for 60% of all deaths in people with diabetes so if left untreated it can put you at increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Check blood pressure– high blood pressure if the number one risk factor for CVD. It usually has no warning signs or symptoms and many people don’t realise they have it.
Check your numbers– visit your healthcare professional and ask them to check your cholesterol, weight and BMI as well as blood pressure.
Understand the signs and symptoms of a heart attack– over 70% of all cardiac and breathing emergencies occur in the home when a family member is present.
Heart attack warning signs
Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort.
- Chest discomfort– in the centre of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back, it can feel like an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body– one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
- Breaking into a cold sweat, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain
Stroke warning signs
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the dace, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
An estimated 17.3 million people die of cardiovascular diseases every year, 80% of deaths occur in low and middle income countries.
You can find campaign resources and information here: www.world-heart-federation.org
· The Campaign Resources in a number of different languages
· Our Worldwide Activities interactive map where you can add details of all your events and illuminations
· Toolkits full of advice on how to support World Heart Day and how to use it as a platform for awareness raising, fundraising and more
· Lots of ways to make your heart promises online and share them
· A digital toolkit so that you can help us to achieve the biggest impact on social media
· A campaign video