As the world struggles to fight COVID-19, we’ve never been more aware of the importance of our and our loved one’s health. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the world’s number one killer, resulting in 18.6 million deaths a year. It has many causes: from smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, to air pollution, and less common conditions such as Chagas disease and cardiac amyloidosis.
For the 520 million people living with CVD, COVID-19 has been heartbreaking. They have been more at risk of developing severe forms of the virus. And many have been afraid to attend routine and emergency appointments, and have become isolated from friends and family.
This year on World Heart Day, we’re asking the world to USE ❤️ TO CONNECT.
The healthcare crisis we’ve all been living through has highlighted an urgent need to find different and innovative ways to connect people to heart health, particularly in lower resource areas and communities. Harnessing the power of digital health to improve awareness, prevention and management of CVD globally is our goal for Word Heart Day 2021. Telehealth has a huge role to play as we continue to USE ❤️ TO BEAT CVD.
USE ❤️ TO CONNECT is about using your knowledge, compassion and influence to make sure you, your loved ones and the communities you’re part of have the best chance to live heart-healthy lives. It’s about connecting with our own hearts, making sure we’re fuelling and nurturing them as best we can, and using the power of digital to connect every heart, everywhere.
This year, there are three different pillars:
1. Equity: Disconnected hearts are at greater risk of heart disease and stroke due to lack of access to CVD prevention, treatment and control – yet half the world’s population doesn’t have access to internet connectivity. Use ❤️ to connect every ❤️.
2. Prevention: Look after your heart by eating a healthy diet, saying no to tobacco and getting plenty of exercise. Digital tools, like phone apps and wearables, can really help you to get motivated and stay on track. Use ❤️ to connect with your ❤️.
3. Community: There are 520 million people globally living with CVD that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in the last year. Due to increased vulnerability to more severe forms of COVID-19, this population has been told they are vulnerable, at-risk and should shelter in place. Use ❤️ to connect people with 💔.
Learn more and get involved: worldheartday.org.