An urgent call to prevent heart from skipping a beat…. By Mukta Srivastava


The present decade is braiding threads of dark future by incorporating nodes of increasing heart risk among women and children. According to World Heart Federation, “Heart disease is actually the number one killer of women, causing 1 in 3 female deaths.” This data leads to a pensive outcome and cites an important finding which declares one female death per minute on our planet. These statistics are enough to bring a thunderstorm in the health sector with special regard to cardiovascular health among women and children.
The year 2000 was an era of renaissance when world recognized the urgent need to address cardiac risks and marked 29th September as World Heart Day globally. In the present scenario when life looms at the speed of metro, the heart has begun to beat at risk. This year’s World Heart Day is addressing the cardiac risks associated with women and children. The theme for this year is life-course approach to the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with a focus on women and children. According to World Health Organization, the number of people who die from CVDs, mainly from heart disease and stroke, will increase to reach 23.3. million by 2030. CVDs are projected to remain the single leading cause of death. In order to protect humankind from budding risk factors of cardiac diseases an urgent call needs to addressed and with immediate effect. Children are the harbinger for tomorrow but unfortunately their lives are now getting trapped in the tentacles of cardiovascular risk. The staircase that leads to major risk factors for cardiac health includes lifestyle factors, tobacco consumption, unhealthy diet, obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, diabetes and raised lipids.
Cardio Vascular diseases have been listed as the major lifestyle related cause of death by WHO. The data also cites that CVD dis proportionally affects low- and middle-income countries where over 80% of deaths are related to CVD and occur almost equally in men and women. According to WHO, NCD data for India, a developing country, reveals that about a quarter deaths (24%) in the nation are attributed towards cardiovascular risk factors. It is a myth that CVD affects mainly affluent, old and male population. However this myth is evaporating soon with course of statistical studies going around the world keeping women and children in the spotlight. These studies need to gain pace or else humankind would collapse into small fragments. More studies needs to be done on woman and children with respect to their cardiac risk. In reference to a journal titled Global Heart, the World Heart Federation recently tweeted “Heart disease among women is under diagnosed and undertreated”. This calls for an immediate action to converge the focus of CVD on female population.
Also, at the same time we need to address the increasing heart risk among older strata of our society. Recently, Kyle J.Norton , Health Researcher and Article Writer from Canada tweeted “Most common Diseases of Ages of 50+: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) - Ischemic heart disease” Such constant tweets pouring on social media from different corners of the world urges the medical community to take up a brisk action to superintend ways that would lead to contraction of global data for cardiovascular risk.
Most heart diseases and strokes can be prevented by making healthy changes in life. The female fraternity needs to revise their strategy of obtaining zero figures to a healthy lifestyle. The first protocol for healthy lifestyle is eating nutritious food instead of diet rich in saturated, trans fat, sugar and salt. This change does not addresses a complete ban on eating rather gives options to take up more healthy eating habits in life. The second calls for making changes in the living patterns like choosing staircase in place of escalators, doing household chores, accompanying kids when they go out to play. Obesity is also the leading factor in increasing cardiac risk among children. Worldwide, one in ten school children are estimated to be obese which turns up to be the major risk factor for cardiac well being among kids. In a report, released last week by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future, curtails down the link between obesity and heart risk among US population, a developed nation on the world map. Such reports must be taken as catalyst for the work going across globe in addressing cardiac risks factors.

CVD’s since ages has captured humans under the terror of some complex medical terminologies like coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. The terms mentioned in the former lines are not only an extraction from some medical dictionary but a blueprint of increasing cardiac risk that needs to be urgently addressed. Another major contributor towards CVD in the world is tobacco. According to WHO, 600,000 non smokers are killed every year because of exposure to second hand smoke. This data is inclusive of both women and children too. Recently NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group from United Kingdom tweeted about the cardiac risk factor in United Kingdom and urged its people to adopt ways for a healthy heart. He raised his appeal through social media platform and said,” Every 7 mins someone dies of a heart attack in the UK. Start your journey to a healthy heart today”. These statistics stand testimony to the succumbing need of addressing cardiac risks with supreme urgency globally.

Identification and addressing of the cardiac risks would not only help to bring massive drop down in the CVD’s statistics but would also prove a boon for dwindling economy especially of developing nations. In the words of WHO, the biggest organization addressing major health issues, “People at high cardiac risk can be identified early in primary care, using simple tools such as specific risk prediction charts and If people are identified early, inexpensive treatment is available to prevent many heart attacks and strokes.” This World Heart Day must set footprint for a brighter future for all, with special regard to children and women. We must work in unison to help heart beat without any risk. The colour red must signify the love that helps to weaves a healthy lifestyle and so forth a healthy heart for loved ones. We should not give this colour the power to elucidate danger in life. Not only this year, but every year ahead in life, we must furnish an effective action plan for managing cardiac health taking women and children in the spotlight. We must sow seeds of healthy living for a long life to prevent heart escape its beat.

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