World Heart Day

World Heart Day Quick Facts - EU

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2023 Date29 September 2023
2024 Date29 September 2024

World Heart Day

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World Heart Day is an annual observance that aims to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVD), their prevention, and the importance of maintaining a healthy heart. Various initiatives are undertaken globally to emphasize the significance of adopting heart-friendly habits, including balanced diets, regular physical activity, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption. CVD is the leading cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for 17.9 million deaths every year, many of which could be prevented through early intervention and appropriate lifestyle modifications.

Established in 2000 by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day has grown to become a major public health campaign that directly resonates with the European Union population. As studies have indicated, CVD accounts for 45% of all deaths in Europe, with the majority being caused by coronary heart disease and stroke. To combat this considerable health threat, the European Union has been actively investing in research and innovation, encouraging policy changes that promote CVD prevention, and emphasizing the importance of coordinated efforts for early detection and treatment.

World Heart Day is observed across the European Union through a range of activities designed to empower individuals to take ownership of their cardiovascular health. Events such as heart health campaigns, educational programs, and public health initiatives take place to inspire change and raise awareness. Additionally, communities, health organizations, and policymakers collaborate to drive further efforts in the prevention and management of CVD. World Heart Day is celebrated annually on September 29, providing an opportunity for collective reflection and action on one of Europe's most pressing health challenges.

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World Heart Day facts

  • The major causes of cardiovascular disease are tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol consumption. The impact of these factors on your health can be modified by managing high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
  • Cardiovascular disease can also be hereditary. If a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, has had heart disease or a stroke, you may be at higher risk.
  • Risk factors start building early in life, and research has shown that children and adolescents can have early forms of CVD risk, such as abnormal cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.
  • The direct and indirect costs of CVD in the EU are estimated to be over €210 billion per year. This total includes healthcare expenditures, productivity losses, and informal care costs.
  • Key risk factors for CVD in the EU include tobacco use, unhealthy diets, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels.

Top things to do in the EU for World Heart Day

  • The EU has extensive databases and reports on CVD statistics. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, offers data on various health indicators, including CVD-related indicators. Explore these statistics to get a better understanding of the prevalence, mortality rates, and risk factors associated with CVD in different EU member states.
  • Follow health organizations, such as the European Heart Network or European Society of Cardiology, on social media platforms or their websites. Many organizations provide updates, articles, and expert opinions on CVD-related topics. By following their work, you can stay informed about the latest research, guidelines, and initiatives related to CVD in the EU.

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