World Heart Day

blog / News September 29 2022

Today is the annual World Heart Day, which is held every year on the 29th of September, and which is the world’s biggest awareness-raising platform for cardiovascular disease (CVD), a class of diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels, including heart disease and stroke.

World Heart Day was initiated by the World Heart Federation in 2000 with the goal to inform people all over the world that CVD is the world’s biggest killer. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019 alone. This number represents 32% of all global deaths that year.

Of all CVD-related deaths globally, 85% are due to coronary heart diseases such as heart attacks and cerebrovascular diseases, e.g., strokes, which mostly affect people in low- and middle-income countries.

Know the Risk Factors for CVD!

Risk factors for CVD include unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol. The impact of these so-called behavioral risk factors may manifest in individuals as elevated blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and/or blood lipids, as well as overweight and obesity. These risks factors are considered intermediate and can be measured in primary care facilities to serve as an indicator that an individual may be at increased risk of experiencing heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other complications.

Other determinants of CVDs include poverty, stress and hereditary factors.

What Happens on World Heart Day?

According to the World Heart Federation, the specific goals of World Heart Day include: to drive action to educate people that by controlling risk factors such as smoking and other tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided. The day-long event also highlights the steps that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.

On the day, individuals, families, communities, and governments all over the globe and from all backgrounds take part in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others. The events help to drive the fight against the massive global CVD burden and inspire and drive international action to encourage heart-healthy living across the world.

#UseHeart and Get Involved!

There are many ways to get involved and raise awareness about CVD on the day. For instance, you can do the World Heart Day (WHD) Challenge by creating your own heart-shaped walking-, running- or cycling route in your area and share it on social media with #UseHeart to inspire others to do the same. You can find more details about the WHD challenge and see other heart-shaped routes.

You might have a story to tell about how you adapted a healthy-heart lifestyle, what it’s like to live with heart disease, or how you made a difference in a previous WHD event. Find out how to share your story.

You can also make your own info poster about CVD, WHD or any other aspect of heart health and healthy eating, to inform others and spread your message on social media. Get some tips on how to do create and share.

Get More Information

Discover the full official overview of the various ways to get involved.

For more information on CVDs, see the World Health Organisation’s CVD resources.

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