In the News: “Share the Power’ of Heart Health – World Heart Day Message

Heart health is at the heart of all health. Your heart is the center of your cardiovascular system, and it is vitally responsible for just about everything that gives your body life -- ranging from the transportation of oxygen to the success of your immune system and well being. World Heart Day is observed on September 29 each year to inform everyone about cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), which are the biggest cause of death, morbidity and disability in the world. This year, World Health Day theme is ‘Share the Power’ says Dr.Muthuswamy Balasubramanyam, Dean of Research Studies & Senior Scientist from the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF), Chennai, India.

Cardiovascular disease is a group of disorders affecting the heart and blood vessels which supply blood to lungs, brain, kidneys and other parts of the body. It is hard to believe but true…. Heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.5 million lives each year. World Heart Day warrants global governments and policy makers to implement reliable, simple and fit-for-purpose surveillance systems for monitoring the burden and treatment of CVDs.

Fuel your heart, move your heart, love your heart and share the power of health

World Heart Day is observed to promote the awareness for preventive measures to reduce the risk of CVDs and it provides a vital platform to raise awareness and encourage individuals, families, communities and governments to take action ‘now’. ‘Share the Power’ means – small changes such as eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, giving up smoking and regular health check-ups can make heart powerful. On this occasion, we should ask everyone to share how they power their heart and can inspire millions of people around the world to be heart healthy and holistically illness free. We should take action to keep our hearts healthy and charged so that the ‘power of health’ can be shared and educated to everyone else.

Your Heart Age may be older than what you are!

Heart Age is calculated using validated scientific research into the factors that improve heart health. New analysis from Public Health England (PHE) shows 1 in 10 men aged 50 taking their Heart Age Test have a heart age at least ten years older than they are, heightening their risk of a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke. The heart age Test tells you your heart age compared to your real age; explains why it’s important to know you blood pressure and cholesterol numbers; gives advice on how to reduce your heart age. The Heart Age calculator tool is designed to give you an overall idea of your heart health and also an indication of how lifestyle related factors may affect your heart health. Using this tool you can compare your actual age to your heart's biological age; figure your most harmful cardiovascular risk factors; learn what you could do to address this risk and easily approach a consultant, if you are at risk

Physical activity and Exercise Matters!

For all non-communicable diseases including CVDs, physical activity and exercise matters. A very recent study (published in The Lancet) from a large cohort of 130 843 participants from 17 countries (including India; four low-income countries and seven middle-income countries) investigated and assured the beneficial dose-dependent associations of all forms of physical activity with reduced mortality and cardiovascular disease risks. This is another confirmation and endorsement that physical activity has definite and dose-dependent benefits for lowering risks of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, stroke, and heart failure). Prevention is better than cure. We have to keep this close to our heart and mind and lead a lovely life free of heart disease, and other illnesses too, concludes Balasubramanyam.

Balasubramanyam photo Dr.M.Balasubramanyam, PhD., MNASc., FAPASc is Dean of Research Studies & Senior Scientist at the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in Chennai, India. Dr. Balasubramanyam's specialization is in Disease Biology; Molecular pathogenesis of diabetes and its vascular complications including diabetic retinopathy; Vascular Biology and signaling studies on VSMC; Clinical significance and subclinical relevance of cellular and molecular alterations in metabolic diseases; Mechanisms of accelerated senescence (ageing) and telomere biology; Insulin signaling & Proteomics; Epigenetics; RNAi and miRNA, gut microbiome aspects of diabetes, Unraveling mechanisms of hyperglycemic memory, Calcium & Redox signaling, Proinflammation, Oxidative stress, ER stress, AGE pathway and biomarker(s) identification; Role of Endocrine Disruptors in diabetes; Bioprospecting herbal molecules; Non-invasive point-of-care (POC) clinical measures and medical devices.

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