Today is World Heart Day 2018, a day when we should all think for my heart, for your heart, for all our hearts. Designated the 29th September by the World Heart Federation (WHF) in the year 2000, World Heart Day continues to focus on cardiovascular disease worldwide, improving lives and reducing early cardiovascular death and disability.
Why do we need World Heart Day?
Firstly, cardiovascular disease is responsible for 17.5 million deaths every year, and is predicted to rise to nearly 23 million by 2030.
And then there’s the fact that both you and I are blissfully unaware of our own creeping cardiovascular disease. Without World Heart Day we risk not giving our heads and hearts the thought and care they require until symptoms hit, or an acute catastrophic event is evolving in ourselves or someone we love.
What is Lifestyle Preventable Cardiovascular Disease (LPCD)?
Cardiovascular disease (CD) is a degenerative process of the heart and blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to every organ and part of the body. Degeneration is strongly associated with age, but here’s the crux; early onset of the degenerative process is strongly influenced by lifestyle choices. Reduction or elimination of risk factors is the key to pushing cardiovascular disease into the “longer grass”. As we live longer we may not escape CD, but small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference to our heart health. For example, 30 minutes of activity a day, giving up smoking and eating a healthy diet can help prevent heart disease and stroke
2018 World Heart Day key messages
Connect with like-minded people: this can be as simple as joining a rambling club, an exercise class or social group. We all know motivation is easier when we enjoy it, and when we share and support each other.
Make a promise to your heart: be careful with your promises. Ensure they are achievable, realistic and that you put in place support systems. For example, promise yourself that you will walk to all destinations within 1/2mile of your house, rather than jumping into the car. Make sure you have bought and placed an umbrella by the door for those rainy days though. Alternatively, modify the promise with the clause of “in good weather”.
Let’s share this knowledge and inspire each other to become more heart healthy.
Think smart, think heart. #WorldHeartDay
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About James Ashman
James has been fortunate to work in Cardiology throughout his adult life. He is proud to be the current Head of Cardiac Physiology and CQC Registered Manager for ICS Diagnostics, an innovative company committed to diagnostic cardiology supporting those touched by cardiovascular disease. Read more about our services.
Read more about World Heart Day via the World Heart Federation website.