In recognition of World Heart Day, which is marked annually on 29 September, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is reminding Qatar residents of the importance of maintaining a healthy heart.
World Heart Day (WHD) is the biggest global awareness-raising platform for cardiovascular disease (CVD) which includes heart disease and stroke. Its aim is to help people live longer, better, more heart-healthy lives.
Our hearts power our whole body and enable us to l live life to the full; it is therefore extremely important to look after them. Without doing so, we are putting ourselves at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke.
CVD is the world’s number one killer and is responsible for 17.5 million premature deaths, and by 2030 this is expected to rise to 23 million. The good news is that we can help prevent heart disease by making just a few simple daily changes, like eating and drinking more healthily, getting more exercise and stopping smoking.
WHD provides an opportunity for people around the globe to play their role in fighting cardiovascular disease (CVD) - a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels. HMC’s Heart Hospital is today hosting an event to highlight the day and raise awareness of maintaining good heart health among staff, patients and hospital visitors.
HMC’s heart health campaign is currently educating the public on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and provides advice on what to do if a heart attack is suspected. It also provides the public with tips on how to improve their heart heath by sharing information about heart conditions and the importance of maintaining a healthy heart.
Speaking on World Heart Day, Dr. Abdulrahman Arabi - Deputy Chief of Cardiology explained: “Cardiovascular disease in Qatar and across the world is on the increase and although it can often be treated, prevention is the best way to reverse this trend. A healthy heart is a critical factor in living a healthy life and simple diet and lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. “
He continued: “A combination of risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, lack of physical activity, hypertension and diabetes are considered to be the leading causes of CVD. This World Heart Day highlights the importance of understanding what we can do to power our hearts and therefore power our lives. Our heart is at the center of our health and it is important to give it the care it deserves.”
Dr. Arabi highlighted some recommendations on how to improve our heart health, advising that just a few simple steps such as eating more healthily, and stopping smoking can improve heart health and overall well-being. These include:
- Limiting your intake of ready-made snacks which are often high in sugar, fat and salt.
- Ensuring the intake of at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day.
- Reducing salt consumption to one teaspoon a day.
- Preparing meals at home for school or work.
- Quitting smoking.
- Increasing activity by limiting the time spent watching TV or using the computer, and getting involved in outdoor activities such as cycling, gardening, or simply walking.
- Knowing your risk of CVD by consulting a healthcare professional who can measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, weight and body mass index, and can also advise on a treatment plan if needed.
- Incorporating exercise at work by using the stairs, standing up to answer phone calls and having regular breaks to stretch or exercise for five minutes.
- Encouraging children to be active and getting active yourself by participating in a sport or exercise routine or simply by helping out in household chores.
This World Heart Day, make sure you and your family take action to keep your heart charged and make a lasting difference to your health. Fuel your heart. Move your heart. Love your heart. And power your life.