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World Heart Day 2019

We can all be Heart Heroes by making a promise ...
to our friends, our family, our patients, our employees

Home > World Heart Day 2019

My Heart, Your Heart

This year on World Heart Day, as part of our mission to ensure heart health equity for all, our objective was to create a global community of Heart Heroes … people from all walks of life who are acting now to live longer, better, heart-healthy lives by making a promise:

  • A promise to our families to cook and eat more healthily
  • A promise to our children to  exercise more and help them to be more active, to say no to smoking and help our loved ones to stop
  • A promise as a healthcare professional to help patients give up smoking and lower their cholesterol
  • A promise as a policymaker to support policies that promote healthy hearts
  • A promise as an employee to invest in heart-healthy workplaces

A simple promise … for MY HEART, for YOUR HEART, for ALL OUR HEARTS.

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer today. But it doesn’t need to be this way. By making just a few small changes to our lives, we can reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as improving our quality of life and setting a good example for the next generation. It’s about saying to yourself, the people you care about and individuals all around the world: “What can I do right now to look after my heart … and your heart?”

Because we believe every heartbeat matters.

people die every year

from CVD, including heart disease and stroke


Everyone has the right to heart health

Looking after your heart means taking small but meaningful actions: eating a balanced diet, undertaking regular exercise, reducing your alcohol intake, quitting smoking … all the things that make you not only healthier but also able to enjoy your life to the fullest.

CVD is the leading cause of death and disability in the world, claiming 17.9 million lives a year. That’s a third of all deaths on the planet and half of all non-communicable-disease-related deaths. Around 85% of these deaths are due to heart disease and stroke.

World Heart Day plays a crucial role in changing all of this. It is a vital global platform that we, as well as our members, patient groups and supporters, can use to raise awareness and encourage individuals, families, communities and governments to take action now. To ensure that everyone has access to essential NCD medicines and those in need receive appropriate treatment, as well as secure basic health technologies can be found in all primary health care facilities. Together we have the power to reduce the burden of, and premature deaths from, CVD, helping people everywhere to live longer, better, heart-healthy lives.

World Heart Day gives people the power to be heart healthy

  • Founded in 2000, World Heart Day is an initiative of the World Heart Federation. It is the world’s biggest platform for raising awareness about CVD, including heart disease and stroke.
  • On and around 29 September, 1000s of activities and events will be organized around the world to spread the word about how we can combat premature mortality caused by CVD, the world’s number one killer.
  • In 2019, we are asking people all around the world to be Heart Heroes by making a heart promise to someone they love or care about. A promise to eat more healthily, to get more active, to say no to smoking. A simple promise … for my heart, for your heart, for all our hearts.

Together, we can help people live longer, better, more heart-healthy lives

  • 80% of premature deaths from CVD could be avoided if the four main risk factors – tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol – were controlled.
  • Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke kill 6 million people a year and are estimated to cause nearly 10% of CVDs.
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke kills 600,000 people every year; 28% of them are children.
  • Within two years of stopping smoking, the risk of coronary heart disease is substantially reduced. Within 15 years, the risk of CVD returns to that of a non-smoker.

Good heart health is good for my heart, for your heart, for all our hearts

  • CVD is responsible for 17.9 million deaths every year, and by 2030 this is predicted to rise to nearly 23 million.
  • Along with other non-communicable diseases, CVD contributes to poverty, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, due to massive health spending and high out-of-pocket expenditure.
  • Consequently, CVD places a heavy burden on the economies of low- and middle-income countries.
  • Small lifestyle changes can make a powerful difference to our heart health: 30 minutes of activity a day, giving up smoking and eating a healthy diet can help prevent heart disease and stroke.
  • By sharing knowledge, recommendations and strategies, we can inspire each other to become more heart healthy.

The burden of cardiovascular disease CAN be reduced. But we must all act now

  • Individuals must take control of their own heart health, sharing the power by understanding their own and their families’ risk of CVD and acting to improve it.
  • Governments and Ministries of Health must accurately understand the scale of the problem by investing in CVD surveillance and monitoring.
  • Countries should also implement population-wide interventions to reduce CVD, including:
    • Comprehensive tobacco control policies
    • Taxes to reduce the intake of foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt
    • Walking and cycle paths to increase physical activity
    • Strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol
    • Healthy school meals for children

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