A Global Epidemic
Heart disease and stroke kill some 17 million people a year, which is almost one-third of all deaths globally. By 2020, heart disease and stroke will become the leading cause of both death and disability worldwide, with the number of fatalities projected to increase to over 20 million a year and by 2030 to over 24 million a year.
The old stereotype of cardiovascular diseases affecting only stressed, overweight middle-aged men in developed countries no longer applies. “Today, men, women and children are at risk and 80% of the burden is in low- and middle-income countries.
Heart disease and stroke not only take lives, but also cause an enormous economic burden. It’s estimated that the economic costs of heart disease and stroke exceed $320 billion, after taking into account health expenses and lost productivity.
World Heart Day
Obesity, poor diets, smoking and physical inactivity, the leading causes of heart disease and stroke, are now being seen at an alarmingly early age. Around 100 countries take part each year in the annual, World Heart Day, with member societies organizing educational activities for everyone to get involved. Thousands of people around the world join one of the walks, runs, jump rope or fitness sessions, have a health check or learn about heart-healthy lifestyles from the public talks, scientific forums and exhibitions.