World Heart Day is Next Week: Raising Awareness for the World’s Most Deadly Disease

How can you inspire the world to be more heart-healthy–even if you have a rare disease such as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)?
That’s the mission of this year’s World Heart Day. According to the awareness day’s sponsor, the World Heart Federation (WHF) in Geneva, Switzerland, the theme of the 2017 international heart awareness day is “Share the Power.

Through PSAs, downloadable tools, online quizzes and campaign materials you can share with both your PAH and local communities, WHF hopes to edge towards their goal of decreasing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease by 25% worldwide.

Currently, cardiovascular disease claims more lives than any other medical condition, accounting for almost one-third of all deaths. More than 17.5 million people die from heart diseases each year. Many of these conditions are preventable with changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle habits, such as quitting smoking.

“Share the Power” invites people around the world to make small changes, such as taking up exercise, cutting down on fatty fast foods or kicking the smoking habit, to become more heart healthy.

There are also lesser known and rare heart diseases that take their toll. Just this month, the first treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in children was approved by the FDA.  Symptoms of PAH are much like those observed with other, more common heart and lung conditions,including abnormally high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery.

If not properly treated, arteries in a patient’s lungs can become thick and stiff. PAH typically affects people in their late 40’s and early 50’s, and almost four times as many women are diagnosed than men. Per the American Thoracic Society, there are an estimated 10-20,000 PAH patients living in the United States.

All the more reason to get involved with World Heart Day and spread the word for heart healthiness!

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