Illustration by Yevhenii Dubinko from iStock
World Heart Day 2018 takes place on the 29th September, but what does that entail? We've put together a handy guide about the campaign and how you can look after your hear.
What’s it all about?
World Heart Day was created in 2012, to help raise awareness and cures for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is accountable for nearly half of all non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Created by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day aims to inform people of the statistics of CVD and how it can be controlled and prevented. The global campaign invites individuals, families, communities and governments to participate in changing lifestyles to improve heart health and encourage healthy living across the world.
CVD is the term for conditions which affect the heart or blood vessels, due to a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries or an increased risk of blood clots. CVD can also be associated with damage to arteries in organs like the brain, heart, kidneys and eyes. Although one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK, CVD can often be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle. There are many different types of CVD, such as:
- Coronary heart disease - this can lead to angina, heart attacks and heart failure.
- Strokes and transient ischaemic attacks.
- Peripheral arterial disease - when there's a blockage in the arteries to the limbs, usually the legs.
- Aortic disease - a common aortic disease is an aortic aneurysm, where the aorta becomes weakened and bulges outwards.
How to prevent CVD
Cardiovascular disease can be prevented and controlled by following a healthy lifestyle. To prevent the risk of CVD, you should:
- Stop smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Cut down on alcohol
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent and control CVD in most cases, but factors like age, high blood pressure/cholesterol, diabetes, or a family history of the condition, can also cause CVD.
How to help on World Heart Day
- Spread the word about how to create a healthy lifestyle on social media under the hashtag #WorldHeartDay. People could see your advice and you could also learn from others.
- Raise money for heart charities, which will go to the treatment and funding for heart diseases. You could do this by selling things, like healthy food, or through a sponsored run/walk to simultaneously raise awareness.
- Visit the World Heart Day website to receive campaign kits, posters and social media awareness advice.
Living with a heart disease can be made more manageable with the help of mobility aids, monitors, and advice about conditions. Check out our condition guides on angina and stroke to find out more about living with heart conditions.