Founded in 2000, this global event was created to educate the public about heart disease and stroke, the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year. What’s a major concern is that these numbers are rising. By 2030, it’s expected that 23 million people will die from cardiovascular disease each year – which is more than the entire population of Australia. The main message of World Heart Day is that at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided if the main risk factors – tobacco, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity – are addressed. That means that the way you live is inextricably tied to the health of your heart.
Children are a particular concern for the campaign as kids often have little control over their environment, lifestyle and food choices. Unless families around the world prioritize a smoke-free home with healthy meals and regular exercise, the children of today are going to be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. How can you help today’s kids have a strong hearts and a healthy future? Check out the Kids on the Move Toolkit and Superheart Cartoon Leaflet for Kids to learn how you can put together a customized program for your family, school or community.
Like many health conditions, heart disease may not cross your mind until a human face is put on the disease, especially a face that looks like you or your loved ones. That’s why the World Heart Federation is collecting personal stories via short conversations in person or by phone. If you’ve been affected by heart disease or stroke, learn how you can participate in this global project. Your story can help both world leaders and fellow community members focus on heart health with greater urgency. We also encourage you to exchange support and tips with PatientsLikeMe members who have experienced a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, valvular heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions.