From building a playlist to using the heart for humanity, for nature, and for you, beating cardiovascular disease (CVD) is something that matters to every beating heart. And this is the message from the World Heart Federation on the occasion of World Heart Day (WHD) that is marked each year on September 29.
With the theme of “Use Heart For Every Heart”, the federation this year is asking the world to use their heart for humanity, for nature, and for professionals themselves.
Locally, the Emirates Cardiac Society (ECS) has launched a public education campaign “For Every Heart” where experts will answer all questions related to heart disease. According to the society, death rates due to heart diseases in the UAE have reached 320 per 100,000 cases, which is double the death rate in other countries.
Dr. Nooshin Bazargani, Consultant Cardiologist at Dubai Hospital and Chair of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at ECS, said that heart failure is the final destination of patients who have cardiovascular risk factors. “This applies to those who don’t control the risk factors or have had cardiac events like heart attacks.”
“It has been estimated that 26 million people live with heart failure globally, of which up to 3.8 million live in the Middle East,” said Dr. Bazargani. She added that it has also been estimated that every one in five people has a chance of heart attack at one stage of their life.
According to her, patients in the UAE show signs of heart disease a decade earlier as compared to other parts of the world because of genetic factors, lifestyle as well as the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension, which is higher in the younger generation.
Some common symptoms of heart failure include difficulty in breathing, fatigue and lack of energy, swellings on the ankles, unspecific chest pain, and in some cases palpitations.
Dr. Anil P Kumar, Specialist Interventional Cardiologist at Aster Clinic in Bur Dubai said: “I would like to take this opportunity to shed light on the importance of a healthy heart, particularly in young individuals. The notion that heart diseases are more prevalent in the elderly population is not completely true as we tend to see a lot of younger populations suffering from heart diseases,” he said.
“There is a high prevalence of hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, impaired glucose metabolism, and substance abuse particularly smoking, all of which leads to cardiovascular diseases,” he added.
How to keep your heart healthy
- Start your day off right. Always have breakfast and keep it as nutritious as possible by eating fresh fruit, lean proteins (eggs, yoghurt, and low-fat dairy), and complex whole grains
- Curb sugar intake. A few, natural and high-quality sweeteners (honey, dark chocolate) are better than refined, processed sweets
- Eat fresh fruits and veggies; eating plenty of fruits and vegetables in a day will fill you up (with fibre) and help curb hunger cravings
- Get active; exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week
- Maintain healthy weight; keep body mass index under control (BMI)
- Quit smoking and stay away from second-hand smoke
- Control your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugars
- Manage stress and get quality sleep