World Heart Day is an annual event established by the World Heart Federation. The objective of the day is to promote heart health and raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVD), as well as educate on the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle.
This year’s theme is “Use Heart, Know Heart.” This emphasises the importance of heart care as a global issue and knowing what preventative measures can help keep our hearts healthy.
Most people will know or have heart what habits are good for heart health, such as regular exercise and healthy eating habits, stress management and adequate sleep. Some of the lesser-known facts and aspects of CVD that people may be less aware of (and what some of our research covers), include:
- Women and Heart Disease: CVD is often seen as a predominantly male issue, but it’s the leading cause of death globally for women too. Symptoms vary from person to person, but women do not experience main symptoms (e.g. chest pain) more or less often than men.
- Silent Heart Attacks: Not all heart attacks will have chest pain – sometimes symptoms are subtle, like fatigue, shortness of breath or mild discomfort.
- Mental Health Impact: Certain mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety and chronic stress can increase the risk of CVD. Make sure to also take care of your mental wellbeing to take care of your heart.
Understanding these lesser-known aspects of CVD can help people take more proactive measures to protect their heart health and reduce their risk of heart-related problems. Regular check-ups, a healthy lifestyle, and awareness of risk factors are essential in the prevention and management of heart disease.
If you’d like to learn more about our research or about CVD more generally, you may wish to refer to any of the following resources:
- Centre for Cardiovascular Health – Edinburgh Napier University
- Innovation Hub – Edinburgh Napier University
- British Heart Foundation
- NHS Inform