Health and Healthcare Systems

Heart disease is still the world’s biggest killer. The power to change this is in our hands

A worker displays a heart-shaped praline for Valentine's Day at a Wittamer chocolate boutique in Brussels February 14, 2012.

World Heart Day is our chance to urge more people across the globe to improve their heart health. Image: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Jean-Luc Eiselé
CEO, World Heart Federation
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Health and Healthcare Systems?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Global Health is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Global Health

There's a song by Peter Gabriel called The Power of Your Heart, and it fits perfectly with our theme for this year's World Heart Day. On 29 September, we're urging people to take action by sharing the power. It's about the power we all have in us to inspire each other - our families, and friends, our local communities - to make just those few small changes in our lives that can make a really powerful difference to our heart health.

The World Heart Federation (WHF) created World Heart Day in 2009, and it grows stronger and stronger. Year after year we're amazed at the commitment and creativity of WHF members and partners, and individuals and organizations around the world as they support our campaign. From schools and universities, to government departments, hospitals, private corporates and the media ... people in every corner of the world are organizing everything from walks, runs and sporting events, to concerts, public talks and screenings, as well as sharing their support on social media.

This year we're also delighted that more iconic buildings, landmarks and monuments across the world are lighting up red in support of our mission than ever before. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, Table Mountain in South Africa, the Nasdaq screen in New York, the Singapore Flyer, the Auckland Sky Tower in New Zealand, Avala Tower in Serbia, Angel de la Reforma in Mexico City, Jet d'Eau in Geneva, Switzerland, the home of the World Heart Federation, and many others ... all turning red and providing a powerful visual symbol for World Heart Day.

The number one global killer

The serious aim of World Heart Day is to help fight against the rising number of people with cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is the leading cause of death and disability in the world, killing 17.7 million people a year. That's a third of all deaths on the planet and half of all non-communicable-disease-related deaths. Around 80% of these deaths are in low- and middle-income countries where human and financial resources are least able to address the CVD burden.

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 really is in our hands. Making lifestyle changes such as eating more fruit and vegetables, keeping active and stopping smoking can save millions of lives.

Together we can reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke ... by sharing the power of our hearts, we can help people everywhere to live longer, better, more-heart-healthy lives.

Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

This Earth Day we consider the impact of climate change on human health

Shyam Bishen and Annika Green

April 22, 2024

2:12

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum