29 Sep 2022  |   07:20am IST

Calling halt to the coronary juggernaut

September 29 is commemorated as World Heart Day by the World Heart Federation (WHF), along with the World Health Organisation, with the objective of fighting millions of deaths occurring every year due to heart disease.

The idea of this day was initially conceived by the President of the WHF, Antoni Bayes de Luna. The aim is to increase awareness regarding cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and ways to negate the global impact they have.

If statistics are to be believed, around 17 million people die of heart ailments, annually. Coronary heart disease and strokes are the most common yet major causes of deaths across the world. Nonetheless, the main causes of CVDs are factors that depend on our lifestyle, and making lifestyle changes is one of the simplest ways of keeping ourselves at minimal risks of falling prey to these health hazards. Inculcating habits such as consuming a healthy diet rather than junk food, quitting alcohol and smoking, and increasingly engaging in physical exercises are considered to be the simplest ways in which we can improve our heart health.

Speaking of the traditions of this day, the WHF sponsors international events and has a theme to commemorate the day every year, this year’s theme being ‘Use a Heart - For Every Heart’. Use Heart implies thinking differently in order to make the right decisions and act with courage. Since the heart is the sole organ one can hear and feel, it is one of the few things that has the potential to unite everyone as people. For ‘Every Heart’ implies focusing on actions that would help create widespread awareness of achieving cardiovascular health for every heart.

On this day, ample information pertaining to heart health is disseminated by means of discussions and programmes on cardiovascular diseases through podcasts, television shows, radio shows and so on. People are encouraged to take walks, run marathons, participate in free check-up camps and other activities in order to be more conscious of their health. That apart, medical organisations and institutions across the globe hold gatherings to reveal vital information about preventive measures that can be adopted to avoid heart diseases to the best possible extent. The goal is to educate everyone on ways to handle the potential risks of heart disease and indulge in healthier life habits to minimise the possibility of developing heart problems.

The commemoration of the World Heart Day eases our understanding of some important things that we otherwise tend to neglect; to name a few – realising and being actively aware that one has to do whatever it takes to keep one’s heart healthy, motivating oneself and other people to lead lives that are free of cardiovascular ailments, encouraging everyone around us to take action and be inspired to fight CVD for a prolonged life and just keeping one’s ticker in a good working order.

All in all, if you are making the decision to celebrate this day, try and be more attentive towards your own heart health. Further, go one step ahead and gather your family and friends and attend events that raise awareness on heart fitness. Get your community involved in spreading information about the heart disease and consider raising funds for the noble cause.

Considering the fast-paced lives that we are currently living, it is understandable that there is no time to take extreme care of one’s health, and often, this very negligence becomes the cause of heart diseases, and by the time we realise the seriousness of the situation, it is often too late.

They say that ‘prevention is better than cure’. That is exactly the kind of ideology we are expected to be mindful of, especially when it comes to heart-care.

In earlier times, we rarely heard of young people dying from heart attacks. However, now, this has become an everyday story where we often hear of young deaths occurring due to heart issues. All this can easily be prevented and taken care of if we only make up our minds to make healthier choices and lead better lives.

This World Heart Day, the World Heart Federation urges us all to use a heart for humanity, for nature and most importantly, for ourselves. Happy World Heart Day, folks!


Iddhar Udhar