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World Heart Day 2021: Significance, history, theme, and all that you need to know

Every year on the 29th of September, World Heart Day is celebrated to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, which are the world’s leading cause of death claiming 18.6 million lives each year,accounting for 31% of all fatalities worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) . The day also highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control cardiovascular disease (CVD).

History of World Heart Day

World Heart Day was first commemorated in 1999, following a collaboration between the World Heart Federation and the World Health Organization. Antoni Baye de Luna, the former president of the World Health Federation, came up with the idea for the day. The day was observed on the last Sunday of September until 2011.

However, when world leaders pledged in 2012 to reduce global mortality from noncommunicable illnesses by 25% by 2025, the day has become an annual event on September 29.

Theme for 2021

The theme for this year is all about ‘harnessing the power of digital health to improve awareness, prevention and management of CVD globally’.

Government and non-government organisations host public presentations, sporting events, and concerts as part of World Heart Day celebrations to raise public awareness about CVD. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. CVD is commonly misunderstood to affect more people in industrialised countries, where people are more reliant on technology and live sedentary lives. However, more than 80% of deaths occur in middle- and low-income countries.

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