World Heart Day – 29th September
The World Heart Federation celebrates World Heart Day on 29th September to focus on creating heart-healthy environments. It encourages people to make heart-healthy choices wherever they live, work, and play and reduce cardiovascular risks.
Cardiovascular disease is the world's number one killer. It is currently responsible for 17.3 million deaths per year, this figure is expected to rise to 23 million by 2030. However, most CVD can be prevented by managing risk factors, such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.
Symptoms of cardiovascular disease include chest pain, shortness of breath, pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in the legs or arms due to narrowing of the blood vessels in those parts of the body, and pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back. The person might not be diagnosed with the cardiovascular disease until he/she has had a heart attack, chest pain (angina), stroke, or heart failure.
Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.
• Manage blood pressure levels. Hypertension is the biggest risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
• Keep diabetes under control by strict blood sugar management to reduce the risk of heart disease.
• Have the right amount of sleep – 7 hours. More than 10 hours a night increases the risk by 63%
• Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Add raisins, bananas, and tomato to the diet; they are full of potassium – a nutrient that can reduce the risk by 20%
• Don't smoke or be exposed to second – hand smoke. Smoking doubles the risk by weakening blood vessels and increases blood pressure.
• Be active, walk briskly for at least 20 minutes a day. This will help reduce the chance of heart disease by almost 40%
• Reduce weight. Excess weight strains the circulatory system increases blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
• Avoid saturated fat. Choose semi-skimmed milk, leaner cuts of meat, and steam or grill foods rather than frying.
• Eat fish that are rich in omega -3 fatty acids. This will boost the good cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
• Limit alcohol use as it raises the blood pressure and hardens the arteries.
• Know the family history. If there is a history of heart disease, the risks increase.
• Always take medicines carefully, as prescribed by the doctor.
Most importantly get your health check-up done at least once a year, keep checking your lipid levels regularly. Cardiovascular diseases can be prevented if diagnosed in time, many people realise the same only after they have near-fatal experience.
Because of the lifestyle and eating habits, Indians are prone to heart ailments, hence it is imperative to keep your self checked regularly on the vital parameters like blood pressure, Blood Glucose levels, Lipid Levels etc, an annual health check-up is the best way to diagnose and monitor the progress of any heart ailment/ cardiovascular disease. Preventive health check-up is found to be very effective in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.