World Heart Day 2019

Back to list 2019-09-19 11:21:30

World Heart Day is celebrated every year on 29 September

World Heart Day informs people around the globe that cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 17.9 million lives each year, and highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD. It aims to drive action to educate people that by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.

World Heart Day is a global campaign during which individuals, families, communities, and governments around the world participate in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others. Through this campaign, the World Heart Federation unites people from all countries and backgrounds in the fight against the cardiovascular disease burden and inspires and drives international action to encourage heart-healthy living across the world. We and our members believe in a world where heart health for everyone is a fundamental human right and a crucial element of global health justice.

By making just a few small changes to our lives, we can all live longer, better, more heart-healthy lives.

What is cardiovascular disease?

CVD is the world's number one killer, causing over 17.9 million deaths per year. Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death and disability in the world today.

The term ‘cardiovascular disease’ (CVD) refers to any disease of the heart, vascular disease of the brain, or disease of the blood vessel. More people die from CVDs worldwide than from any other cause: over 17.9 million every year, according to the World Health Organization. Of these deaths, 80% are due to coronary heart diseases (eg heart attack) and cerebrovascular diseases (eg strokes) and mostly affect low- and middle-income countries.

Did you know that your heart is the size of your fist and the strongest muscle in your body? It started beating about three weeks after you were conceived. If you live to be 70, it will have beaten two and a half billion times. However, although impressive and strong, your heart can also become vulnerable from habitual risk factors like smoking, eating an unhealthy diet or putting it under stress. Controlling these key risk factors and monitoring your blood pressure regularly may reduce an individual’s risk of CVD.

Heart attack warning signs

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are some signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

- Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Stroke warning signs

A stroke is a medical emergency.  If any of these symptoms appear, don’t delay – get medical help immediately!

- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

- Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If experiencing any of these signs, which could come and go, call your emergency services/ambulance immediately.

Eat well and drink wisely

- Cut down on sugary beverages and fruit juices – choose water or unsweetened juices instead

- Swap sweet, sugary treats for fresh fruit as a healthy alternative

- Try to eat 5 portions (about a handful each) of fruit and veg a day – they can be fresh, frozen, tinned or dried

- Keep the amount of alcohol you drink within recommended guidelines

- Try to limit processed and prepackaged foods that are often high in salt, sugar and fat

- Make your own healthy school or work lunches at home

Get more active

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 times a week

- Or at least 75 minutes spread throughout the week of vigorous-intensity activity

- Playing, walking, housework, dancing – they all count!

- Be more active every day – take the stairs, walk or cycle instead of driving

- Exercise with friends and family – you’ll be more motivated and it’s more fun!

- Download an exercise app or use a pedometer to keep track of your progress

Say no to smoking

It’s the single best thing you do to improve your heart health

- 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 secondhand smoke is also a cause of heart disease in non-smokers

- So by quitting (or not starting in the first place), you’ll not only improve your health but that of those around you

- If you’re having trouble stopping, ask for professional advice and ask your employer if they provide smoking-cessation services


About MSH China

Founded in 2001, MSH China is a French international company specialized in high-end insurance services for corporate and individual clients. Our multicultural International department is dedicated to serve foreigners living in Asia. Leader in China, our reputation has been made from our efficient customer service and call center, a large hospital network and a cost sensitive approach. 

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