Every year, September 29 is observed as World Heart Day to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, heart disease and stroke. This day is celebrated annually to spread awareness about the importance of keeping the heart fit as it’s one of the most important organs that deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells and also removes waste products.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 17 million people die from heart disease worldwide every year. The major cause of these fatalities is coronary heart disease or strokes. The day is celebrated to make individuals aware about the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Every year, over 90 countries take part in this international observance. The theme of this years World Health Day is ‘harnessing the power of digital health to improve awareness, prevention and management of CVD globally’. Government and non-government organisations conduct public events and concerts to raise public awareness about CVD. The day was first observed by the World Heart Federation in collaboration with the World Health Organization on September 24, 2000. The observance of this day was ideated by Antoni Baye de Luna, the former president of the World Health Federation. The day used to be observed on the last Sunday in September till 2011. However, from 2012 onwards, it has been observed on September 29 after world leaders pledged to reduce global mortality rates from these non-communicable illnesses by 25% by 2025.
The day also aims to highlight the reason and prevention of CVD, so that people can prevent themselves from being prone to cardiovascular diseases. It is marked to educate people about the associated risk factors such as unhealthy diet, tobacco consumption, and physical inactivity, which are likely to increase the risk of CVD.