Every year, over 17 million people die from heart disease. As a way to fight this, the World Heart Federation created World Heart Day. It’s an event held every year on September 29.
People around the world can find events that raise awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD) — its warning signs, the steps you can take to fight it, and how to help those around you who may be suffering. So on September 29, fight CVD by getting involved with a World Heart Day event near you.
When is World Heart Day 2024?
All matters of the heart are observed on World Heart Day on September 29.
History of World Heart Day
World Heart Day is observed and celebrated annually on September 29, with the aim of increasing awareness of cardiovascular diseases and how to control them to negate their global impact. The international holiday was established by the World Heart Federation in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The president of the World Heart Federation from 1997 to 1999, Antoni Bayés de Luna, had conceived this idea. The first celebration of the annual event took place on September 24, 2000, and, until 2011, World Heart Day was observed on the last Sunday in September.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the most common cause of death globally. An estimated 17 million people die from CVD every year. Coronary heart disease or strokes were the major causes of these deaths. A common misconception about CVD is that it impacts more people in developed countries who are more reliant on technology and lead sedentary lifestyles. But more than 80% of the deaths occur in middle-income and low-income countries. Fortunately, the main causes of cardiovascular disease are modifiable factors, which include lack of exercise, smoking, and a poor diet. Economic systems of countries are also majorly impacted by cardiovascular diseases — the cost of treatment is high and failure to treat the diseases timeously results in loss of productivity and long absences from work.
More than 90 countries take part in this international observance every year. As a result, World Heart Day has proven to be an effective means for disseminating information about CVD. The high level of involvement from governments and organizations is most important for developing countries, which are heavily affected by these diseases.
World Heart Day timeline
The World Heart Federation creates a very important event — World Heart Day.
Over 200 children (and adults) are screened for rheumatic heart disease in Asmarat, a suburb of Cairo, Egypt.
This campaign is designed to promote heart health and encourage people to lead an active lifestyle — and take up sports to help keep their hearts healthy.
This online test measures ‘heart age,’ which shows how many years we can expect to live in good health without a heart attack or stroke.
Traditions of the Day
Every year, the World Heart Federation sponsors the international event and declares a theme for the day. Distribution of information and discussions on cardiovascular diseases take place on platforms such as forums, television talk shows, podcasts, posters, and more. Walks, fund-raisers, free health checkups, concerts, sporting events, and other activities are hosted to encourage people to be more active and aware of their health.
Prior to the holiday, scientific meetings and gatherings on cardiovascular research are hosted by medical societies.
By The Numbers
115,000 – the number of times our heart beats in a day.
2,000 – the number of gallons of blood pumped by the heart every day.
1893 – the year in which the first open-heart surgery occurred.
3,500 – the age in years of an Egyptian mummy in which the earliest-known case of heart disease was identified.
1,200 – the fastest heartbeat per minute — that of the pygmy shrew.
1 pound – the weight of the human heart.
60,000 – the number of miles our blood vessel system can extend to.
1,500 pounds – the weight of a blue whale’s heart.
1.5 gallons – the amount of blood pumped by our heart each minute.
World Heart Day FAQs
Why do we celebrate World Heart Day?
Created by the World Heart Federation, the aim of World Heart Day is to inform people around the globe that heart diseases are the world’s leading cause of death and highlight the actions that need to be taken for prevention and control.
What is the theme for World Heart Day 2020?
The theme of World Heart Day 2020 was ‘Use Heart To Beat Cardiovascular Disease.’
How do we celebrate World Heart Day?
World Heart Day is celebrated with fundraisers, awareness events, and activities such as concerts, sporting events, and marathon runs.
How to Observe World Heart Day
Designate the day for a checkup
You may even be able to find a World Heart Day event near you that’s offering health check services. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Get your heart rate up with fitness events
Maintaining a healthy weight and low Body Mass Index (BMI) can help decrease your chances of developing heart disease. Whether you decide to attend a gym or fitness class — or prefer to get involved at a World Heart Day event — try to make being active a priority.
Schedule life-changing seminars
Most cardiac emergencies occur near someone who could potentially help — so setting up a CPR class and learning how to resuscitate a person could save lives. Cooking demonstrations, health lectures, and fitness lessons are also great events to plan for World Heart Day.
4 Crucial Facts About Heart Disease
Heart disease costs all of us
Each year, the U.S. spends approximately $200 billion in health care services, medication, and lost productivity due to heart disease.
There are 3 common risk factors
Smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (specifically LDL), are the key risk factors for heart disease. Half of all Americans suffer from at least one of these.
Sodium intake is putting kids at risk
Approximately 10 percent of children in the U.S. have high blood pressure due to the consumption of too much sodium.
Early warning signs are crucial
Approximately 47 percent of cardiac-related deaths take place outside of a hospital — demonstrating that people don't take early warning signs seriously enough.
Why World Heart Day is Important
It’s for your heart — and all our hearts
As the World Heart Federation says, September 29 is all about asking yourself: “What can I do right now to look after my heart…and your heart?”
It highlights worldwide events
World Heart Day is a universal platform that has the capability to focus attention on the millions who die from heart disease each year. Through worldwide events, the day offers health and fitness tips so people can lead a life free of cardiovascular ailments.
It encourages people to take action
By offering a variety of fun, healthy events — walks, runs, public talks, concerts, etc. — the day can inspire you to fight cardiovascular disease and live a longer, healthier life.
World Heart Day dates