Heart Day is a part of an international campaign to spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases and stroke prevention. The World Heart Federation (WHF) organizes the World Heart Day, an international campaign on September 29th every year. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) including strokes are responsible for half of all Non-Communicable Diseases making it world’s number one killer.
The World Heart Federation (WHF), in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), announced the establishment of World Heart Day in 1999.The idea for this event was proposed by Antoni Bayés de Luna, president of WHF from 1997-99.
Originally, the World Heart Day was observed on the last Sunday in the month of September. But this was only till 2011.The first celebration took place on September 24, 2000.
World Heart Federation (WHF)
World Heart Federation is a Non-Government organization. It is situated in Geneva, Switzerland. It commits to unite its members and lead the global fight against heart disease and stroke. The WHF focuses on the vulnerable areas of the world, low and middle-income countries. The World Heart Federation has continued to sponsor the annual event, assembling and distributing information and declaring a theme for the day.
WHO targets for noncommunicable disease mortality reduction by 2025, reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) by at least 25%.
Why is World Heart Day observed?
The one organ in our body which gives us the real meaning of being alive is our heart. People can at times be brain dead and yet be considered alive.
Presently, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world. In the early 2000s, roughly 17 million people worldwide died from cardiovascular diseases annually. The majority of these deaths were the result of coronary heart disease or stroke – that’s more than victims of cancer, HIV and AIDS, and malaria.
(Pic courtesy: https://www.worldheartday.org/whdcvd)
Risk factors that lead to heart disease and stroke include:
- High blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.
- Improper diet.
Hence, The World Heart Day celebration plays a very important role in changing all of this. It is a very crucial global platform that people can use to raise awareness and encourage individuals, families, communities, and governments to take action now. Together everybody has the power to reduce the premature deaths from, and burden of, Cardio Vascular Diseases, helping people everywhere to live longer, better and heart-healthy lives.
World Heart Day is the World Heart Federation’s biggest global awareness platform for cardiovascular diseases. Since its launch, it has grown rapidly and now experiences huge global participation and support.
World Heart Day Celebration
Every year, the celebrations of the World Heart Day take place across the globe highlighting the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control cardiovascular diseases. Various events and activities related to the heart health are organized. Each year’s celebrations have a different theme, reflecting key issues and topics related to heart health.
The government and non-government organizations celebrate and promote World Heart Day with activities such as fun runs, public talks, concerts, and sporting events. Every year more and more people participate in these events showing their support for World Heart Day.
Moreover, the World Heart Federation also organizes awareness events in more than 100 countries. They include health checks, sports events, including walks, runs and fitness sessions, public talks and science forums, stage shows, concerts, and exhibitions.
In addition to that, The World Heart Federation motivates the health care professionals, medical societies, policy makers, patients, organizations and other healthy individuals to come forth and participate actively in the campaign to reduce the fear of heart diseases and strokes.
Also, people show their support by organizing their own heart healthy events and activities.
This year Heart Day will be celebrated on 29th September, Friday. This year’s theme is “Creating Heart-Healthy Environments”. World Heart Day is a global observance. It is not a public holiday.
World Heart Day Themes of the past decade
- The theme for the year 2006 was “How Young is Your Heart?”
- The theme for 2007 was “Team Up for Healthy Hearts”.
- The theme for 2008 was “Know your Risk”.
- The theme for 2009 was “I Work with Heart”.
- The theme for 2010 was “I Work with Heart”.
- The theme for 2011 was “One World, One Heart, and One Home”.
- The theme for 2012 was “One World, One Heart, and One Home”.
- The theme for 2013 was “Take the road to a healthy heart”.
- The theme for 2014 was “Heart Choices NOT Hard Choices”.
- The theme for 2015 was “Creating Heart-Healthy Environments”.
- The theme for 2016 was “Light Your Heart, Empower Your Life”.”
Furthermore, The World Heart Federation says that “Whether your environment is urban or rural, this is our chance to transform our neighborhoods into heart-healthy environments so that we can achieve a 25% reduction in premature death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 2025.
Few Fascinating Facts about the Heart
- Heart of a healthy person beats about 1,15,200 times every day.
- The heart pumps blood to all of the 75 trillion cells of the body.
- Only the Cornea of the eye doesn’t receive blood supply.
- In fact, the heart rate drops while asleep.
- Strangely enough, on an average, women’s hearts beat about 10% faster than men’s.