As cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the leading cause of death around the world, the World Heart Federation has warned that every minute following a heart attack is crucial. To create awareness on issues of the heart, the 2017 World Heart Day billed for September 29, this year will focus more on its proper care.
World Heart Day is a part of international campaign to spread awareness about heart diseases and stroke prevention. Ese Lucky, a Resource Person for Fitness Zone, says the Heart Day is the perfect day to quit smoking, get exercise and start eating healthy — to keep “your ticker in good working order, and improving the health and well being of the people of the world.” According to Heart Federation, heart diseases and strokes are the world’s leading cause of death, killing 17.1 million people every year – that’s more than victims of cancer, HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Lucky affirms that as people grow older, their heart functions slow steadily after age 40 and since human beings cannot control their ages, they need to device ways of improving their heart conditions. “Like the saying goes health is wealth, the decision to improve one’s level of general health, fitness, and mental well-being may require a complete change in lifestyle. Again, considering the trends, Nigerians need some creative and innovative platform to enhance physical fitness development,” he adds.
To him, over-eating, lack of exercise, unhealthy diets, high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels are factors that trigger heart disease.
Healthcare experts of the World Heart Federation are of the view that the risk of cardiac complications and even death after a myocardial infarction (heart attack) is significantly elevated if not managed appropriately with rapid treatment. “Time is muscle and for every minute not treating an acute myocardial infarction or heart attack, the heart muscle dies and increases the likelihood of heart failure, arrhythmia, mechanical complications, and even death,” Ahmad Edris, Managing Director, Cardiovascular and Interventional Cardiology Consultant says.
Heart attacks are the cause of one-in-four deaths in most countries of the world. It is vital that chest pain symptoms are not ignored or underestimated.
Ahead of World Heart Day on September 29, patients are urged to call the emergency services if chest pain is accompanied by the following symptoms: shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and a fast or irregular pulse.
The World Heart Day was first declared in 2000 by the World Heart Federation, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The essence is to spread awareness about cardiovascular disease.
By Pita Ochai