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

Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?

November 17, 2017
The buildup of plaque in the heart's arteries is an unfortunate part of aging. But by studying the genetic makeup of people who maintain clear arteries into old age, researchers led by UNC's Jonathan Schisler, PhD, have identified ...

Raising 'good' cholesterol fails to protect against heart disease

November 16, 2017
Raising so-called 'good' cholesterol by blocking a key protein involved in its metabolism does not protect against heart disease or stroke, according to a large genetic study of 150,000 Chinese adults published in the journal ...

New model estimates odds of events that trigger sudden cardiac death

November 16, 2017
A new computational model of heart tissue allows researchers to estimate the probability of rare heartbeat irregularities that can cause sudden cardiac death. The model, developed by Mark Walker and colleagues from Johns ...

Popular e-cigarette liquid flavorings may change, damage heart muscle cells

November 16, 2017
Chemicals used to make some popular e-cigarette liquid flavorings—including cinnamon, clove, citrus and floral—may cause changes or damage to heart muscle cells, new research indicates.

Possible use for botulinum toxin to treat atrial fibrillation

November 16, 2017
From temporarily softening wrinkles to easing migraines, botulinum toxin has become a versatile medical remedy because of its ability to block nerve signals that can become bothersome or risky.

Proteome of the human heart mapped for the first time

November 15, 2017
A healthy heart beats about two billion times during a lifetime, thanks to the interplay of more than 10,000 proteins. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) and the German Heart Centre at the Technical ...

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.