Roughly a third of all deaths around the world are the result of heart disease and stroke, making cardiovascular disease the number one killer globally.
Many of these people have been exposed to unhealthy behaviours including tobacco use, unhealthy diet, inadequate physical activity and harmful use of alcohol etc.
However, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are preventable to a considerable extent, provided the right things are done in the right way at the right time.
Many lives can be saved by regular check ups for high blood pressure (responsible for the bulk of heart disease-related deaths annually), high blood cholesterol and other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease and stroke. Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for the development of many diseases.
Taking a comprehensive approach to address the cardiovascular disease burden is the need of the hour. It is also very important to advocate life-saving techniques to prevent heart failure like CPR for revival after a sudden cardiac arrest.
Conducting CVD awareness programmes and counselling sessions are also required to a greater extent to raise awareness. Governments and Ministries of Health must accurately understand the scale of the problem by investing in surveillance and monitoring of cardiovascular disease.
By making just a few small changes to our lives, we can reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as improving our quality of life and setting a good example for the next generation. There is no-shortcut to a healthy heart. We should spread the word that a healthy lifestyle is the key to a healthy heart.
‘Good heart health is good for my heart, for your heart, for all our hearts.’
The author is a Consultant – Interventional Cardiology, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore