World Heart Day occurs every year on 29 September. It is a global campaign that aims to draw attention to heart disease, stroke and the range of health issues associated with these conditions.
World Heart Day was created by the World Heart Federation (WHF) in 2000. Each year, there is a different theme. This year’s theme asks people to Use Heart…for society, for your loved ones and for yourself:
The World Heart Day campaign encourages everyone to take care of their heart health. It promotes awareness of the risk factors that can contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. It also aims to increase understanding as to how individuals can prevent CVD; for example, through changes in lifestyle.
CVD is the number one cause of death throughout the world. It accounts for nearly half of all deaths from non-communicable diseases.
This year’s campaign website highlights how the Covid-19 pandemic “has shone a spotlight on the healthcare profession, national healthcare systems and our individual responsibilities – for our own health and for the vulnerable in society.” The website emphasises the effect that the spread of Covid-19 has had on patients with CVD. These patients are confronted with two threats. Not only does the Covid-19 infection increase the risk of developing severe symptoms or complications if an individual already has CVD but, in addition, those with CVD may be wary of seeking medical advice if in doing so they risk being exposed to the virus.
More information about this year’s campaign is available on the WHF’s website here.