World Heart Day, 2016
The one organ of our body that gives us the true meaning of being alive is ‘heart’. Even the brain comes from the heart as a person can be brain-dead but still be considered alive. Therefore, the ‘World Heart Day’ has been established on September 29, in order to take care of this vital organ and spread the awareness of its well-being.
As per the official website of World Heart Federation (WHF), the day signifies the biggest platform for raising issues related to ‘heart’ and awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD). It was in 2000, the initiative took place when people were informed around the globe that heart diseases and stroke are one of the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.3 million lives every year.
More surprisingly, the ratio of deaths per year due to CVD is much higher than the deaths due to cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes, as per WHF report. Non-communicable diseases (NCD) have assumed epidemic proportion in our nation. CVD accounts for 29.8% of the total deaths in India.
It is the reality of life that it just does not get better by chance; it only gets better by change. World Heart Day talks about your well-being as only this could be the strongest medicine for your heart. An unbending fact says that you can change your heart health all by yourself, all with healthier life choices and you can slash a risk of a heart disease by 60%.
Change happens from within. If each of us determines to curb our excesses, become more active and disciplined in terms of our diet and habits, all of us will lead a healthier and more productive life. Nature and nurture both play a conspicuous role to make a person more susceptible to heart disease. Indian gene has a tendency to hold on fat, an Indian body is more prone to ‘central obesity’ besides insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.
On the eve of the World Heart Day, ICICI Lombard revealed some shocking findings over the root causes of heart ailments. It exposed that most of the heart diseases growing in India and across the world are because of an inadequate rest and a heavy workload. Also, one’s eating habits and lifestyles hold key importance in the level of stress, one is dealing on a daily basis. Moreover, a busy lifestyle leads to an improper consumption of nutrients required by the body and lack of daily exercise which resultantly cause ill health and cardiac ailments. Almost 80% males are found to be under stress due to this regime and the percentage is relatively less in the case of women.
On the other hand, many Nigerians are coming down with heart failures as per the WHF report. Cardiologists have raised alarm over an imminent epidemic of CVD’s among Nigerians and called for action in order to prevent 80% of premature deaths. A healthy balanced diet, at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise, moderation in alcohol consumption and complete abstinence from smoking are key to curb CVD.
This World Heart Day reminds us of one small thing- it’s our heart that takes no rest and works non-stop, 24×7, 365 days; let’s never be too busy to take care of it.
by Rashi Bagri