World Heart Day is celebrated every year on 29 September to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases, their prevention and its global impact.
According to World Heart Federation, the organisation behind the annual event, World Heart Day is the perfect platform for the CVD (cardiovascular disease) community to unite in the fight against CVD and reduce the global disease burden.
According to the organsiation, World Heart Day is meant to raise awareness that CVD, including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 17.9 million lives each year. The occasion highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD. It aims to educate people that by controlling risk factors such as tobacco consumption, unhealthy diet and physical activity, approximately 80 percent of premature deaths from heart disease can be avoided.
History of World Heart Day
World Heart Day was first observed in 1999, when the World Heart Federation collaborated with the World Health Organisation.
The idea for a day dedicated to creating awareness about cardiovascular diseases was conceived by Antoni Bayés de Luna, the president of WHF from 1997-2011. While the day was originally observed on the last Sunday of September. The first celebration took place on 24 September, 2000.
World Heart Day 2020 significance
According to a report in Millenium Post, as many as 30 percent of COVID-19 patients who are being admitted to hospitals are developing heart ailments or are coming with heart attacks. Health practitioners are thus urging patients to not ignore chest pains or other signs related to the heart.
Furthermore, in a conversation with The Indian Express, Dr Ramesh Gudapati, Chief of Cardiology at Star Hospitals, Hyderabad said that heart attack symptoms don’t always announce themselves dramatically. Thus many people wait for hours before seeking medical help. According to him, early treatment not only minimises heart damage, it can also save one’s life.
According to the doctor, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a general sense of anxiety and fear of contracting the virus, which deters people from coming forward and seeking medical help when the condition worsens. The doctor adds that getting a regular health check-up is one of the best ways to remain healthy.