According to the World Heart Federation:
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels (veins and arteries).
- CVD can be caused by a combination of socio-economic, behavioral, and environmental risk factors, including high blood pressure, unhealthy diet, high cholesterol, diabetes, air pollution, obesity, tobacco use, kidney disease, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol and stress.
- Family history, ethnic background, sex, and age can also affect a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
World Heart Day is an opportunity for everyone to stop and consider how best to use heart for humanity, for nature, and for you. Beating cardiovascular disease (CVD) is something that matters to every beating heart.
Use Heart means to think differently. To make the right decisions. To act with courage. To help others. To engage with this important cause. The heart is the only organ you can hear and feel. It is the first and last sign of life. It is one of the few things with the potential to unite all of us as people.
For Every Heart involves the use of “FOR” and swings the focus from the actions themselves to the beneficiaries of the actions, allowing for wider application of the campaign while also making it more personal. We want World Heart Day messages to reach as many individuals as possible to help achieve cardiovascular health for every heart.
Remember the 3 Key Beneficiaries:
- Use Heart for Humanity
- Access to treatment and support for CVD varies widely across the world. Over 75% of CVD deaths occur in low-to middle-income countries, but access can be an issue anywhere. By getting involved with global events such as World Heart Day as well as local activities, we are empowered to spread awareness and help make a difference in the lives of all humankind.
- Use Heart for Nature
- Air pollution is responsible for 25% of all CVD deaths, taking the lives of 7 million people every year. Whether they are more immediate actions like walking or cycling instead of travelling by car, or longer-term efforts such as supporting clean air legislation, each of us can contribute to a healthier planet in our own way.
- Use Heart for You
- Psychological stress can double the risk of having a heart attack. Exercise, mediation, and getting enough quality sleep help to lower stress levels. By resisting the harmful coping mechanisms and bad habits induced by stress, we can maximize our individual heart health.