Islamabad-Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability in the world, killing 17.5 million people a year, while around 80percent patients of this disease are in low and middle income countries, speakers said on Saturday.  “That’s a third of all deaths on the planet and half of all non-communicable-disease-related deaths,” said Consultant Cardiologist at Shifa International Hospital (SIH) Dr Asad Ali Saleem on World Heart Day.

He said around 80% of these deaths are in low and middle income countries where human and financial resources are least able to address the CVD.  He was addressing a seminar organized on Saturday to mark World Heart Day. Doctors, medical students, patients and people from all walks of life attended the seminar. Free Lipid Profile test was also offered to the participants. DrAsad said that Cardiovascular Disease is caused by disorders of the heart and blood vessels, and includes coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, peripheral artery disease and heart failure.  “Quitting smoking to prevent CVD and also for early cure of patients with CVD,” he said.

He also added that a healthy heart is vital for living life to the full, regardless of your age or gender. Controlling the major cardiovascular risk factors, by choosing a healthy diet, being physically active and by not smoking can prevent heart attacks and strokes and may help the heart to age more slowly.  He said the myth that it is the disease of the affluent does not hold true. Indeed the prevalence of this problem is ubiquitous and the consequences are frequently more devastating for those who live in the impoverished third world countries, he stated.  Kokab Khawaja, Cooking & Home Décor Expert was the Guest of honour of the event. She appreciated Shifa International Hospital for taking an initiative in this noble cause of public awareness by organizing such event. She said that meanwhile, it is a great opportunity to develop a foundation of a healthier society and nation by spreading education and awareness for prevention of the disease. She also shared healthy eating recipes for a healthier heart with the audience.

Consultant Cardiologist SIH Dr Yusuf Hasan said that cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer today. But it doesn’t need to be this way. By making just a few small changes to our lives, we can reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as improving our quality of life and setting a good example for the next generation.  A promise as an individual to cook and eat more healthily, to do more exercise and encourage your children to be more active, to say no to smoking and help your loved ones to stop.  Consultant Cardiologist SIH Dr Saeedullah Shah said that when you look after your heart it means eating and drinking well, exercising, not smoking, all the things that make you not only healthier, but also feel good and able to enjoy your life to the fullest. 

World Heart Day plays a crucial role in changing all of this. It is a vital global platform that we, as well as our members and supporters, can use to raise awareness and encourage individuals, families, communities and governments to take action now.

Together we have the power to reduce the burden of, and premature deaths from, CVD, helping people everywhere to live longer, better, heart-healthy lives.