World Heart Day is celebrated on September 29 annually, with the main objective of spreading awareness about cardiovascular diseases, it's warning signs and effective measures one can take to combat it and ways to help people suffering from heart ailments. Every year, 18.6 million people die from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) including stroke, which is more than the mortality caused due to HIV, malaria, and cancer. To effectively manage this condition, the World Heart Federation (WHF), in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) organised this event to pay attention to cardiac-related illness and the range of associated health issues.
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With the entire world still struggling to fight COVID-19, people have never been more aware of the importance of life and the health of their near and dear ones. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the world’s number one killer, which has several causes from smoking, diabetes, hypertension and obesity to environmental pollution and least common disorders like Chagas disease and cardiac amyloidosis. For people living with CVD, the impact of COVID-19 has been distressing and they are at higher risk of developing severe forms of the virus.
This year’s World Heart Day theme focuses on harnessing the supreme power of digital health to improve awareness, prevention, and management of CVD, across the globe. Well, telehealth has played a remarkable role as we continue to “Use The Heart To Beat CVD, Use Heart To Connect “is all about implying knowledge, compassion, and influence to ensure all people in the communities have the best possible options to live heart-healthy lives. Every individual must make sure that they are fuelling and nurturing them as best they can and also using the ultimate power of digital health to connect every heart, across the world.
Three Key Pillars For Better Heart Connectivity
People who have poor access to internet connectivity are at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke due to poor access to CVD prevention, treatment, and management. More than half of the world’s populace doesn’t have a proper approach to network connectivity.
Technology and data will support people to bridge this gap and accomplish it fast. It is all about enabling and empowering everyone, everywhere - patients, community health workers, doctors to use digital tools for better prevention, diagnosis, and proper care of heart-related ailments. Digital health can help to rectify the balance.
Prevention is better than cure. Take utmost care of your heart by eating a balanced and nutritious diet, say no to smoking, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and getting adequate exercise. Several types of digital tools like phone apps, and wearables can greatly help people stay strong, motivated and on track.
With more than 520 million people worldwide living with CVD, which have been unduly affected by COVID-19. Due to higher susceptibility to more severe forms of coronavirus, this section of the populace has been told that they are at risk and should take proper care. Some of the consequences of this include:
Missing doctor schedules
Lack of contact with family and friends
Digital networks have the power to connect patients with families, friends, other patients, doctors, and healthcare support providers. No one should feel alone, pandemic or not, use technology efficiently to overcome isolation and fill up gaps in health care.
Importance Of Good Cardiac Health
Well, embracing a disciplined lifestyle at any age can avert the risk of heart disease, heart attack or stroke. A healthy heart is a core to overall good physical and mental well-being. The heart is responsible for circulating nutrient-rich blood throughout the system, it provides oxygen while eliminating toxins and waste out of the body. As the centre of the cardiovascular system, it is essentially responsible for just about everything that confers the body life, ranging from transporting oxygen to building a robust immune system. Lifestyle modifications are powerful in optimising heart function and health, which includes:
Staying active can reduce the risk of developing CVD and at times can even reverse some of the contributing factors such as being overweight or hypertensive.
Eating the right foods can help one to manage weight, blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Incorporating heart-healthy foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes and lean meats are highly beneficial.
Getting sound sleep for 7 or 8 hours per night is a key marker of good cardiac well-being.
Controlling blood pressure by being physically active and eating a nutritious and low salt diet, can help avert the risk of high blood pressure, as well as naturally regulate hypertension.
People diagnosed with CVD should take their medications regularly. These prescription medications have a positive impact when lifestyle changes are also keenly implemented.
Control cholesterol and maintain the lipid profiles under the normal range.
Seek prompt help from health care providers regarding heart health, medications, lifestyle changes, and any other challenges in managing heart health problems.