World Heart Day, 29 September 2023 – Theme, History and Importance

World Heart Day -

September 24, 2023

The day is celebrated by organizing activities and awareness events globally to raise awareness about heart disease. And also its preventive measures to manage cardiovascular diseases.

The events mainly focus on educating people about the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease, to avoid any further complications and encourage people. Moreover, to inculcate a healthy lifestyle to prevent and control any heart-related ailments.

Importance of World Heart Day

The heart is one of the vital organs of the human body, malfunctioning of it may lead to fatality. So, it is essential to take care of heart health, due to a lack of awareness about cardiovascular health and certain lifestyle habits. So, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) is one of the leading reason for mortality worldwide. Every year, around 1.7 crores people die due to cardiovascular disease, accounting for 31% of all global mortality.

Heart attack, Stroke and coronary heart disease are some of the most common reasons of death due to cardiovascular disorders. These heart disorders account for nearly 85% of deaths due to cardiovascular ailments. World Heart Day is vital in creating awareness to educate people worldwide. Moreover, to understand the importance of heart health and bring other organizations together to organise various awareness activities.

World Heart Day Theme 2023

This year 2023, the World Heart Day theme is “Use Heart, Know Heart”, a reminder call to everyone worldwide to take care of their hearts. The theme emphasises the crucial process of getting to know one’s own heart first; because one can only love and protect what they are aware of. In a world where knowledge about heart health is limited and policies are insufficient or lacking, the day aims to shatter barriers and empower individuals to take control of their well-being, as the theme depicts that when we know more, we can take better care.

Year by year, the themes for World Heart Day are:

  • World Heart Day 2022 Theme: Use Heart for Every Heart
  • World Heart Day 2021 Theme: Use Heart to Connect
  • World Heart Day 2020 Theme: Use Heart to Beat CVD
  • World Heart Day 2019 Theme: Be a Heart Hero

The theme “Use Heart for Every Heart” intends to address the people to have the opportunity to use their thinking and action towards the betterment of humanity, nature and itself, through which huge mortality due to cardiovascular can be curbed.

Awareness and support for cardiovascular disease management in different countries varies, poor and developing countries don’t have adequate access to heart care awareness and facilities, causing 75% of all cardiovascular deaths in these countries, which can be improved by organizing and participating in awareness programs globally to help humankind.

Everyone can contribute to a healthy nature in their own way to fight air pollution, which accounts for 25% of all cardiovascular deaths and around 70 lakh deaths every year globally.

Stress and poor lifestyle are the prominent risk factors of heart attack, which can be dealt with by improving our lifestyle by inculcating good habits like Exercise, meditation, and getting quality sleep.

History of World Heart Day

The idea of having Heart Day globally was introduced by Antoni Baie de Luna, former president of the World Health Federation, based on his ideas along with the collaboration of the World Health Organization, World Heart Day was established in 1999.

The world witnessed the first official World Heart Day celebration on September 24, 2000. Till 2011, the day continued its mission of creating awareness about the management of cardiovascular disease on the very last Sunday of September. In 2012, with the idea to curb global mortality due to non-communicable diseases by 25 per cent by 2025, global leaders came together. They urged the world to participate in this cause actively and 29 September, was marked as Global World Heart Day. More than 90 countries participate on this day to organize campaigns to raise awareness and educate people about cardiovascular health.

Preventive Measures to Keep Heart Healthy

  • Keeping body mass index under control (BMI), BMI Ranges – Underweight = <18.5, Normal weight = 18.5 – 24.9, Overweight = 25 – 29.9, Obesity = 30 or greater
  • Keeping an eye on High blood pressure (hypertension) and High levels of cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia)
  • Limiting the consumption of excess sodium – the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Understanding the early signs & symptoms and taking appropriate action to avoid any complication
  • Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, opting for an active lifestyle by indulging in physical activities
  • Monitoring heart health through consultation and awareness programs
  • Eating healthy and balanced diets, avoiding trans fat and junk foods
  • Avoid smoking & alcohol consumption
  • Learn to manage the stress & get quality sleep

Exercises for Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular health is termed as the health of blood vessels and the heart, cardiovascular diseases are a group of diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

Being physically fit is one of the keys to keep cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, deep vein thrombosis pulmonary embolism, heart attacks and strokes etc. under control and managed. It helps to tackle the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases like high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), diabetes mellitus, overweight or obesity, family history of CVD, smoking, alcohol intake and more.

Exercise helps strengthen the heart muscles, keeping BMI under control, reducing the risk of artery damage due to high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, and avoiding Heart stroke.

Different types of exercise have different effects on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs):

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercises like Brisk walking, playing tennis and jumping rope, improve circulation, lowering blood pressure and heart rate. It helps in cardiac output which improves the heart pumping. It also helps in managing type 2 diabetes.

Recommended: At least 30 mins/day for 5 days a week

Resistance Training

This training helps in the case of obesity, people with big belly with a lot of fat. Resistance Training helps reduce lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and improves HDL (good) cholesterol.

Working out with free weights like hand weights, dumbbells, weight machines, and push-ups is a good option for Resistance Training.

Recommended: At least 2 non-consecutive days per week

Stretching, Flexibility and Balance

Flexibility workouts, like stretching, do not directly contribute to coping with cardiovascular conditions, but they help to be flexible and free from joint pain, cramping and other muscular issues.

Being flexible is an important part of Aerobic Exercise and Resistance Training.

Recommended: Every day and before and after other exercises