Use heart, save lives

Dr. Behrad Elahi, MD Fellow of European Society of Cardiology and Interventional Cardiologist at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai, talks about how raising awareness on health risks and taking steps to prevent diseases can go a long way in reducing heart-related morbidities

Dr. Behrad Elahi, MD Fellow of European Society of Cardiology and Interventional Cardiologist, Al Zahra Hospital Dubai
Dr. Behrad Elahi, MD Fellow of European Society of Cardiology and Interventional Cardiologist, Al Zahra Hospital Dubai

Published: Thu 29 Sep 2022, 9:00 AM

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is common in the general population worldwide, affecting the majority of adults past the age of 60 years. In 2012 and 2013, CVD was estimated to result in 17.3 million deaths worldwide on an annual basis. The 2019 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics update of the American Heart Association (AHA) reported that 48 per cent of persons above the age of 20 in the US have CVD.

Lifetime risk of overall CVD approaches 50 per cent for persons aged 30 years without known CVD. Coronary heart disease (CHD) accounts for approximately one-third to one-half of the total cases of CVD, with ischemic heart disease as the number one cause of death in adults from both low, middle, and high-income countries .

Today is 29th September, which is celebrated as World Heart day. It is a global campaign for individuals, families, communities, and governments around the world to participate in activities and charge of their heart health and that of others. The aim is to show at least 80 per cent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke are avoidable.

Today, we are asking everyone to ‘use heart for every heart’

That means ‘Use Heart’ to think differently. To make the right decisions. To act with courage. To help others. The heart is the only organ you can hear and feel. It is the first and last sign of life. It is one of the few things with the potential to unite all of us as people. For ‘Every Heart’, we want our message to reach as many individuals as possible to help achieve cardiovascular health for every heart.

Therefore, to overcome the high burden of cardiovascular disease and mortality, there are many steps you can take to fight it and help those around you who may be suffering. Some of these are mentioned below:

Use heart for humanity

As over 75 per cent of CVD deaths occur in low-to middle-income countries, access can be an issue anywhere.

Use heart for nature

Air pollution is responsible for 25 per cent of all CVD deaths, taking the lives of seven million people every year. Whether they are more immediate actions like walking or cycling instead of travelling by car, or long-term efforts such as supporting clean air legislation, each of us can contribute to a healthier planet in our own way.

Use heart for you

Finally, by properly addressing the major and traditional cardiovascular risk factors, which are modifiable and treatable, including smoking, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, Dyslipidemia or elevated cholesterol level and sedentary life style. At least 60 per cent of the population suffers from one of these factors. Furthermore, it has been proven that psychological stress can double the risk of having a heart attack. Exercise, mediation and getting enough quality sleep helps lower stress levels and reduces the risk of CV disease.

Today, cardiologists around the world need to come together to recommend very simple steps that profoundly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and prevent chances of morbidities and the cost of lifetime treatment with loss of productivity due to heart disease.

Designate the day for checkup: Thankfully, the healthcare system in the UAE is very well organised and accessible for everyone. There are many free or low cost offers for heart checkup in many facilities. One only needs to find the nearest centre close to them for a quick checkup, including proper measurement of blood pressure, blood cholesterol and sugar level. Early diagnosis and treatment of each one of these cardiac risk factors significantly reduces the risk of subsequent major cardiac vascular events.

Get your heart rate up with fitness events: By maintaining a healthy weight and low Body Mass Index (BMI). Most of the buildings in the UAE have their own private gyms that people can use to participate in any type of aerobic and anaerobic physical activity even during summer time, which can help decrease your chances of developing heart disease. Whether you decide to attend your gym or any fitness classes, try to make being active as your priority.

And finally, schedule life-changing seminars to take care of other’s heart: Approximately 47 per cent of cardiac-related deaths take place outside of a hospital that means every bystander could be potentially a lifesaving angel. So, attending a CPR class and learning how to resuscitate a person could save lives.

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