World Heart Day 2021: Know all about the date, history, significance and theme


As per the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day is important as cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the world’s number one killer, resulting in 18.6 million deaths a year. Covid-19 has only been more heartbreaking for this figure as it has made 520 million people living with CVD, more vulnerable to developing severe forms of the coronavirus. 

Smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, air pollution and less common conditions like Chagas disease and cardiac amyloidosis are all causes of cardiovascular disease. Hence, it is important to look after our heart by eating a healthy diet, saying no to tobacco and getting plenty of exercise. 

Remember, missing medical appointments, lack of contact with family and friends or reduced physical exercise can lead to CVD. So, don’t let Covid-19 stop you from attending your regular check-ups especially if you have underlying health conditions like heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity.


To increase public awareness of cardiovascular diseases, their prevention and their global impact, World Heart Day is observed and celebrated annually on September 29.


World Health Day was first founded in 1999 with the World Heart Federation (WHF) collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO). The idea of an annual event was conceived by Antoni Bayés de Luna, the president of WHF from 1997-2011. Originally, World Heart Day was observed on the last Sunday of September, with the first celebration taking place on September 24, 2000.


According to the World Heart Federation, “World Heart Day informs people around the globe that CVD, including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 18.6 million lives each year, and highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD. It aims to drive action to educate people that by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.”


This year, the theme of World Heart Day is “Use Heart to Connect”. The idea is to find different and innovative ways to connect people to heart health, especially in lower resource areas and communities by “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.”

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