Founded in 2000 by the World Heart Federation, this specific day aims to increase awareness of heart disease and stroke worldwide. The American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives, is a founding member of the World Heart Federation and continues to work collaboratively to reduce premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease.
This year’s campaign, called “My Heart, Your Heart” is about celebrating and connecting like-minded people, and creating a sense of commitment around the common cause of heart health. It is a concept that encapsulates the values of World Heart Day through making a “Heart Promise” to improve your heart health by eating healthier, being more physically active and stopping smoking and/or vaping.
“World Heart Day is about what you can do to get, and keep, your heart healthy, and the American Heart Association is proud of the extensive work we do to provide the information to get you to optimal heart health,” says Sidney Smith, M.D., volunteer medical expert and past president of the American Heart Association. “Through the areas of cardiovascular research, healthcare quality improvement and resuscitation science, the American Heart Association is committed to reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease.”
Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.6 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030, according to a 2014 study. It accounts for approximately 1 of every 3 deaths and claims more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined. However, through making healthy behavior changes, it’s possible to greatly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
To learn more about World Heart Day and the World Heart Federation’s campaign, visit www.worldheartday.org.