Heart health starts earlier than you think

September 24, 2012

A new multi-national survey reveals the extent of misconceptions about when is the right time to start taking action to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD). In a four-country survey sample of 4,000 adults, 49 per cent answered age 30 years or older when asked at what age they believe people should start to take action about their heart health to prevent conditions such as heart disease and stroke. The fact is that CVD can affect people of all ages and population groups, and the risk begins early in life through unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity and exposure to tobacco. On World Heart Day, 29th September, the World Heart Federation is calling for people – specifically mothers who are gatekeepers to the home – to take action now to protect their own heart health, as well as that of their children and families to safeguard future generations.

"The fact is that good starts from childhood. We have an opportunity to change the course of CVD and its global impact, by encouraging and supporting heart-healthy living from an early age. On World Heart Day, over 150 countries are joining together to encourage individuals, families, communities and governments to take action to reduce the and stroke amongst women and children," said Professor Sidney C. Smith Jr, MD, President, World Heart Federation.

The new multi- conducted in Brazil, India, UK and the USA by the World Heart Federation and supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Frédérique Constant, reveals that:

  • On average, people believe 32.2 years is the age to take action about their heart health
  • By this age, the average heart will have beaten 1.3 billion times, about half of its
  • Only one-quarter (26 per cent) of mothers believe young people under 20 years need to take action
  • Men aged 40 years and over are most likely to think it's OK to delay taking action, believing an average age of 37.3 years is the time to start caring for heart health
CVD risk factors such as physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, overweight/obesity and tobacco use can have lifelong consequences for men, women and children. During foetal development, maternal malnutrition, both under- and over- nutrition, can increase the chances of developing future risk factors associated with CVD. Children who have a birth weight of less than 2.5 kilograms have approximately double the risk of dying prematurely from coronary heart disease.1 For expectant mothers, CVD can present a double burden – protecting the heart health of their unborn child and protecting themselves against the risk of CVD, as heart disease is the world's number one killer, affecting 1 in 3 women worldwide.

Peter Stas, CEO, Frédérique Constant, said: "We are pleased to launch our partnership with the World Heart Federation on World Heart Day as it presents an important platform for women to take control of their own hearts in order to protect the heart health of not just themselves but the next generation as well. We are passionate and proud to help educate people about their risk and help avoid the millions of needless deaths that occur each year. By uniting our efforts we strive to give families more quality time together".

Johanna Ralston, Chief Executive Officer, World Heart Federation added "Women have an important role to play as the gatekeepers of the family and the guardians of health, especially in lower-and middle-income countries, where eight out of 10 CVD-related deaths occur. We are urging all women to adopt heart-healthy behaviours. Taking action to prevent exposure to will have a positive impact on children, as they learn by example and will be encouraged to adopt heart-healthy behaviours from a young age. These actions can have a big impact on reducing the number of preventable deaths from and stroke".

Explore further: Women with heart disease more likely to have baby girls

More information: Read the report: Urbanization and Cardiovascular Disease: Raising Heart-Healthy Children in Today's Cities.

Related Stories

Women with heart disease more likely to have baby girls

April 20, 2012
Dubai (20 April 2012): Women with heart disease are more likely to give birth to female rather than male babies according to a new study presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology. The study found that three-quarters ...

Taking vitamin E does not impact women's heart failure risk

March 20, 2012
Taking vitamin E supplements does not increase or decrease heart failure risk among women, according to a study in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.

Middle-age blood pressure changes affect lifetime heart disease, stroke risk

December 19, 2011
An increase or decrease in your blood pressure during middle age can significantly impact your lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to research in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Cardiovascular disease community calls for tougher targets to curb global risk

September 18, 2012
Agreement by governments, by the end of 2012, on a set of ambitious global targets to curb the growing scourge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which includes cardiovascular disease (CVD; heart disease and stroke), is ...

Global CVD leaders call the world to action—25 by 2025—from the World Congress of Cardiology

April 23, 2012
The Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce called on the 11,000 World Congress of Cardiology delegates in Dubai, and the cardiovascular disease (CVD) community at large, to support the adoption of a global goal to reduce ...

Asbestos workers at significantly increased risk of heart disease/strokes

April 2, 2012
Workers exposed to asbestos as part of their job are at significantly greater risk of heart disease and stroke than the general population, finds research published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Recommended for you

Laser device placed on the heart identifies insufficient oxygenation better than other measures

September 20, 2017
A new device can assess in real time whether the body's tissues are receiving enough oxygen and, placed on the heart, can predict cardiac arrest in critically ill heart patients, report researchers at Boston Children's Hospital ...

Metabolism switch signals end for healing hearts

September 19, 2017
Researchers have identified the process that shuts down the human heart's ability to heal itself, and are now searching for a drug to reverse it.

Beta blockers not needed after heart attack if other medications taken

September 18, 2017
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds beta blockers are not needed after a heart attack if heart-attack survivors are taking ACE inhibitors and statins. The study is the first to challenge ...

Which single behavior best prevents high blood pressure?

September 15, 2017
(HealthDay)—You probably already know that certain healthy lifestyle behaviors can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, but is any one behavior more important than the others?

RESPECT trial shows closing a small hole in heart may protect against recurrent stroke

September 13, 2017
A device used to close a small hole in the heart may benefit certain stroke patients by providing an extra layer of protection for those facing years of ongoing stroke risk, according to the results of a large clinical trial ...

Study shows so-called 'healthy obesity' is harmful to cardiovascular health

September 11, 2017
Clinicians are being warned not to ignore the increased cardiovascular health risks of those who are classed as either 'healthy obese' or deemed to be 'normal weight' but have metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.