World Heart Day Exclusive
The World Heart Federation (WHF) organizes World Heart Day on September 29th every year to spread awareness of heart diseases and stroke prevention. Heart diseases and strokes are the most common and leading cause of death around the world. Around 17.1 million people die each year because of heart diseases. The most common causes behind heart diseases and strokes are hypertension, heart attacks, inflammatory heart disease, palpitations, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, angina, heart failure, infections in the heart, paralysis, etc. WHF is a non-government organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. On World Heart Day, WHF organizes health check-ups, marathons, public talks, stage shows, exhibitions, etc to create awareness about preventive methods to reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
Risk factors in heart disease & stroke
- Consumption of tobacco and alcohol
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Stress, chronic anger and anxiety
- Family history of heart disease
- Excessive use of birth control drugs
What are the common symptoms
- Pain or pressure in the upper body like neck, jawline, back, stomach, or in one or both arms (especially the left)
- Shortness of breath or abnormal breathing
- Speech difficulty
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sudden unresponsiveness to touch or sound
Tips to take care of your heart
- It is very important to maintain a healthy diet as there is a trend towards fast food, which is very unhealthy and has a lot of calories and fats. Eat everything in moderation and include lots of salads, raisins, bananas, tomatoes and fresh juice in your diet.
- Your body needs physical exercise; walk for at least 30-40 minutes every day. Keep active. If you sit for long hours, stand up and stretch frequently.
- Keep calm, meditate and do breathing exercises. Do not stress too much about anything and everything.
- If you smoke or drink quit as soon as possible. These are the main causes of heart disease and stroke.
- Maintain a good cholesterol level. If your cholesterol is high, control it. Lose extra weight, if any.
- As the younger generation is more prone to heart disease and strokes today, an early diagnosis is the key to prevent them. Chest pain, burning sensation in the stomach, arm pain, throat pain, breathlessness, unexplained fatigue or giddiness should not be ignored. Consult a doctor immediately.
- People who are obese, drink alcohol, smoke or have a family history of heart disease should go for periodic heart check-ups.
- Have a proper and right amount of sleep, around 7-8 hours. Do not exceed because it increases the risk of stroke by 63%.
First aid for a patient during a sudden attack or stroke –
Prompt treatment for any kind of heart disease and stroke can save a life. Before any medical help arrives, the patient must be made to lie down. Loosen his/her clothing. Give oxygen if an oxygen cylinder is available. If nitroglycerine or sorbitrate tablets are available, one or two tablets may be put under the tongue. Aspirin can also be given in a soluble form.