World Heart Day 2020: Understanding The Importance Of Optimal Cardiovascular Health
World Heart Day 2020: Heart day helps in spreading awareness about the serious condition that can affect your heart. In this article you will know about the role of this vital organ and ways to keep it healthy.
World Heart Day 2020: Heat disease affect a large population of young adults these days
- World Heart Day highlights the vital role heart plays in your body
- This day encourages preventive practices against heart disease
- A combination of lifestyle changes and diet helps promote heart health
The heart is a vital organ of the human body that pumps blood, transports oxygen and nutrients to various organs and removes carbon dioxide and waste products from them. World Heart Day is celebrated on the 29th September every year to encourage the adoption of preventive practices and promote healthy lifestyle choices for protection against various heart ailments such as stroke, heart attack, cardiac arrest and much more, among the global population. A sedentary lifestyle coupled with stress and anxiety, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and substance abuse is among the leading causes of heart ailments.
An estimated 17.3 million people die from heart-related ailments every year. According to the Global Burden of Diseases study, ischemic heart disease accounted for the leading cause of deaths in 2017. A World Heart Federation report points out that cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 1 in 3 deaths globally but a majority of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented. An alarming trend is the rising incidence of heart attacks among the young population between 30-40 age-groups. According to an estimate, heart attacks in young Indians are 3-4 times higher than the West.
A combination of lifestyle changes, diet and regular medical tests can be useful in ensuring sound cardiovascular health. Firstly, minimize or eliminate stress in your life. Everyone has a different mode of relaxation. For some, it may be hitting the gym for a workout while for others, it may be listening to music and so on. It is important to devote at least 2.5 hours of cardiovascular exercise in a week. This can be a brisk walk, using a pedal exerciser or an elliptical machine at the gym. Quitting smoking and avoiding drug abuse is must to ensure good cardiovascular health.
The dietary changes include limiting the intake of saturated fats, red meat, sugar and alcohol. At the same time, increase your intake of fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables and whole grains.
Those above the age of 40 must be extra-vigilant for symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, chest discomfort or pain, light-headedness, or nausea. They should also gauge their body's response to moderately- strenuous activities such as a 10-minute brisk walk or 10-minute cardiovascular exercise. Those with a history of heart ailments should get a stress test done at least once a year.
During the current pandemic, heart patients are more susceptible to contracting the Coronavirus. Hence, they should try to stay indoors as much as possible, avoid public gatherings and public transportation, and take medications regularly as well as follow-up consultations unless advised by the doctor.
One should be aware of warning signs of heart attack that is caused by interruption of blood supply to the heart. such as chest pain that can be understood as a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest that moves to arms, shoulder and neck, chest discomfort such as in exertion, excessive sweating, nausea, numbness and much more.
If you suspect someone developing symptoms of a heart attack, make him sit down and rest, loosen his clothing and call an ambulance as soon as possible. Do not panic, leave him alone or give him anything by mouth except if he is already on heart-related medicines such as nitroglycerine.
Being aware of preventive and curative measures, taking day-to-day precautions such as modification of lifestyle, monitoring weight, blood pressure, sugar level and cholesterol and consuming a healthy diet can go a long way in ensuring a healthy heart.
(Dr. Manjinder Sandhu is Director Cardiology and Artemis Cardiac Care Pvt Ltd, Artemis Hospitals)
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