As the global campaign to ease the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) soldiers on, this year’s World Heart Day theme “Use Heart to Know Heart” zeroes in on addressing insufficient heart health knowledge and prevalent dead malice attitude for one’s well-being.
Bad genes, unhealthy lifestyle and deliberate disrespect for your heart are culprits in the surging number of CVDs.
Around 620 million people are living with heart and circulatory diseases or CVDs, across the world, accounting for 20.5 million deaths in 2021, according to the World Heart Federation (WHF).
World Health Organization statistics revealed that more than four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, while one-third of these deaths happen prematurely to people under 70 years old.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that in 2022, the leading causes of death in the country were ischemic heart diseases. The other top two causes of mortality were neoplasms and cerebrovascular diseases.
With CVD as the leading cause of mortality globally, the WHF remains relentless in its campaign to heighten awareness and promote healthy lifestyle choices geared towards preventive action, materializing into the annual World Heart Day (WHD) festivities.
As the lead agency of the WHD celebration in the country, the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) went a step further with “Use Heart to Know Heart” during the September 28, 2023 Usapang Puso sa Puso online forum. The PHA emphasized the maximum benefits and importance of walking, thus the PHA WHD 2023 is sub-themed “Walk for a Healthy Heart.”
Dr. Walid Amil, PHA secretary and WHD 2023 chair/UPP moderator underscored that “walking is the best, most sustainable form of exercise as it is accessible to typically anyone, and it costs nothing to do yet reaps bountiful rewards for health.
“One of the best simple exercises to live healthier ang walking. Madali lang gawin araw-araw at wala namang kailangan na equipment or facilities” he said.
Walking is part of one of the 5 tenets of the PHA Healthy Lifestyle code called 52100 (fifty-two one hundred): 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, not more than 2 grams of sodium, at least 1 hour of physical activity, 0 smoking, and 0 sugary beverages, are all doable practices that anyone can fulfill daily.
PHA Director II and UPP co-host Dr. Luigi Segundo said that the theme enjoins all to put your whole heart and soul into minding cardiovascular health, paying attention to the pains and changes that occur.
“Sabi nga ni ate Vi [Vilma Santos] sa isang PHA Advocacy infomercial, pakinggan niyo naman ang puso niyo.” Segundo quoted.
The PHA National and Chapters involved the public, harping on the fact that there is no better way than conducting a contest that challenges one’s creative juices, in churning out powerful campaign materials as entries, to overemphasize the advantages of prevention.
The categories of the two Chapter-wide contests involved not just the heart doctors but influential leaders/people in the community- the Local Government Units (LGUs). The Poster-making contest stimulated ingenious minds, while the heart-shaped track contest nudged people to keep moving, as they needed to walk, run, or bike a path in the shape of a heart, tracked via a fitness app.