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'Share the power' on World Heart Day, urges Heart Foundation

Friday, September 29, 2017

TODAY — World Heart Day — the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, in association with the World Heart Federation, is inviting people to “Share the Power” by knowing their numbers, fuelling their hearts, moving their hearts, and loving their hearts.

In a release yesterday, the Heart Foundation said cardiovascular (heart) disease (CVD) is the world's leading cause of non-communicable deaths.

“We cannot underestimate the global importance of good heart health — 31 per cent of all deaths worldwide are from CVD. World Heart Day is our chance to bring people together to tackle the world's biggest killer and urge more people across the globe to improve their heart health.

“The power to change is in our hands. Making lifestyle changes such as eating more fruit and vegetables, keeping active and stopping smoking can save millions of lives,” Professor David Wood, cardiologist and president of the World Heart Federation, is quoted as saying in the release.

The 2008 Jamaica Health and Lifestyle survey found that 51.7 per cent of Jamaicans were overweight or obese, 35.3 per cent were pre-hypertensive, 25.2 per cent had hypertension, 11.7 per cent had high cholesterol, and 7.9 per cent had diabetes, the release said.

According to Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton, which the release quoted from a media report, CVD accounts for “34.8 per cent or 6,476 of all death in Jamaicans over five years old”.

The Heart Foundation of Jamaica is therefore urging people to “own our heart health through education and healthy lifestyle choices”.

World Heart Day, according to the release, is the world's biggest awareness-raising platform for CVD — it is a chance to inform everyone, everywhere that heart disease and stroke are the world's leading cause of death and to highlight the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.

This global campaign sees individuals, families, communities, and organisations around the world take part in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others, the release continued. Through this campaign, the World Heart Federation unites people from all countries and backgrounds in the fight against CVD, and inspires and drives international action to encourage heart-healthy living across the world.

The Heart Foundation is therefore urging people to take action.

To mark World Heart Day 2017, the release said illumination events are being held at iconic venues across the world, including Table Mountain in South Africa, the Nasdaq screen in Times Square, New York, the Singapore Flyer, the Sky Tower in New Zealand, and the Bob Marley Statue at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica.

The foundation is also urging people to visit the Heart Foundation of Jamaica today, at 28 Beechwood Avenue, for free body fat analysis, body mass index checks, and blood pressure and blood sugar tests.

“If you can't make that date, come and visit the Heart Foundation of Jamaica any weekday and get screened for heart disease — know your numbers, know your risk.

Also, people are being urged to share their healthy lifestyle with the hash tags #WorldHeartDayJA and #WorldHeartDay.