Created by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day (WHD) is a time to unite in the fight against cardiovascular disease (CVD) in efforts to reduce the global disease burden and inspire heart-healthy living across the world.
Any disease of the heart, vascular disease of the brain, or disease of the blood vessel constitutes as a cardiovascular disease. The most prevalent cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease (e.g. heart attack) and cerebrovascular disease (e.g. stroke). Controlling key risk factors such as diet, physical activity, tobacco use, and blood pressure may reduce your risk for CVD.
Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer. Each year, CVD is responsible for approximately 17.5 million premature deaths. Over the next 15 years, this number is expected to rise to 23 million. As scary as that may sound, the good news is that CVD is preventable. The belief is that at least 80 percent of the deaths attributed to CVD are avoidable. Lifestyle changes, including healthy eating, physical activity and quitting smoking, can help reduce the risk for, and or manage, cardiovascular disease.
This year’s observance will be held on September 29, 2016. Check out the infographic below and download the World Heart Day campaign materials to learn more and get involved. One easy way to get involved is to take a Healthy Heart Selfie and post it on social media using #worldheartday. Make sure to take the Heart Age Test for an overall idea of the health of your heart and how lifestyle factors can impact your heart health.
Interested in examples of communities working to address CVD and other chronic diseases? Check out success stories and fact sheets from Plan4Health coalitions to see how communities throughout the United States are working to reduce chronic disease through improvements to healthy food access and opportunities for physical activity.
Images courtesy of the World Heart Federation