World Heart day being observed today

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World Heart day being observed today

  • September 29 is observed as World Heart Day.
  • It is an initiative by the World Heart Federation to spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart disease and stroke.
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 17.9 million people die of CVDs every year, accounting for over 31 per cent of global deaths.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD)

  • According to WHO, CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and the blood vessels.
  • They include diseases such as coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and congenital heart disease among others.
  • Largely, these diseases are associated with lifestyle choices such as an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and excessive use of alcohol, and therefore are preventable to some extent.
  • About 80 per cent of all CVDs manifest themselves as heart attacks or strokes and 75 per cent cases come from low and middle-income countries.

CVD burden in India

  • In India, the prevalence of CVDs is estimated to be around 54.5 million.
  • In September 2018, The Lancet published a report about cardiovascular diseases in India and their risk factors as part of its Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2016.
  • The report noted the prevalence of CVDs in Indian states along with the disability adjusted life years (DALYs) or the number of years lost to ill-health which has increased.
  • In 2016, CVDs contributed to 28.1 percent of the total deaths, as compared to 15.2 percent in 1990.
  • The report cited high systolic blood pressure, ambient air pollution, high total cholesterol and high BMI among major risk factors contributing towards heart diseases.

Initiatives to control CVDs

  • In 2013, WHO developed targets to control and prevent non-communicable diseases – of which CVDs make a large part of.
  • The target included a relative reduction of 25 per cent in overall mortality from CVDs by 2025.
  • India’s National Health Policy 2017 too, aims to reduce premature mortality from CVDs, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases by 25 per cent by 2025.