Read a short note from Dr. Phil Sharples on World Heart Day:

world-heart-dayThe 29th of September is World Heart Day, a day to unite us all in the fight against cardiovascular disease (CVD). Given that CVD causes 32% of all global deaths, we are all likely to be affected by it in one way or another.1 Yet, whilst this makes it the leading cause of death worldwide, there is still a gap in diagnosis and treatment due to lack of access, with over three-quarters of CVD deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.2 There is also a crucial gap in social connectivity and awareness of CVD risk factors. At least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided by behavioural changes like eating more healthily and exercising regularly.3

This year, the World Heart Federation is asking us to bridge these gaps and #UseHeartToConnect to promote equal access to cardiovascular treatment, raise awareness of causes and ways to prevent CVD and encourage support for those living with CVD in our community. Whether you connect with your doctor, reach out to someone you know with CVD, or simply spread the hashtag #UseHeartToConnect to increase digital recognition of heart health, there is something everyone can do today to help. - Dr. Phil Sharples, Chief Medical Officer, Global Solutions, UnitedHealthcare Global