WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO) in its September edition of disease rating, attributed deaths from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) as world annual leading cause of deaths than from any other known cause.
According to the WHO, there is an estimated 17.5 million people who died from CVDs in 2012, representing 31percent of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke.
It stated in the report also that over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries.
For example, among people below 70years old, about 16m deaths were as a result of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and it is estimated that 37 percent of this was caused by cardiovascular diseases and not less than 82 percent of the deaths occurred in low and medium income countries.
It is as a result of the staggering statistics of unnecessary deaths that leading health technology company, Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), has entered into a new partnership with the World Heart Federation (WHF) to help people better manage their heart health.
In a recent statement issued to announce the partnership, Philips noted that the objective is to encourage the public to take personal responsibility for leading heart-healthy lives and raise awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD).
It is said that most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioural risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies.
The global partnership of Phillips with World Heart Federation is seen as furthering the commitment of the organisation to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease especially among Nigerians where it is believed a larger percentage of cardiovascular diseases occur annually.
With the new partnership, Philips has recently launched a new platform-myheartisunique.com, an online educational hub designed to drive awareness of preventing CVD through healthy living.
The organisation in launching the online platform observes that it would be a unique opportunity for over 86 million internet users in Nigeria to have continuous and regular access to information about NCDs.
Philips hopes to use this medium to provide CVD prevention education to Nigerians. The hub will feature expert interviews; questions for patients to ask their cardiologist; information on living with CVD including early warning signs; and lifestyle-related content such as exercise tips and heart-healthy recipes.
The online platform also allows visitors to create a picture of their unique heart using the Facebook app.
Speaking on the partnership, Business Leader of Patient Care and Monitoring Solutions at Philips, Carla Kriwet, “Our new partnership with the World Heart Federation is an important element of our commitment to drive prevention of CVD by making clear the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and to help people, including Nigerians, make better choices and develop healthier habits for life”.
The gory picture of CVD deaths in Nigeria in 2015 showed that about 7 percent of deaths in the country are as a result of CVDs. However awareness levels about the disease are low; over 50% of Nigerians are unaware of CVD and 77% are not concerned about personally being at risk of the disease. Yet, most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by changing behaviours and eliminating risk factors.
The recent Future Health Index commissioned by Philips shows only 39% of cardiology healthcare professionals believe their patients have the tools required to better manage their own heart health effectively.
Commenting on the new initiative, CEO, World Heart Federation Johanna Ralston said, “Heart health is at the heart of all health. When you look after your heart it means eating and drinking well, exercising, stopping smoking… all the things that make you not only healthier, but also feel good and able to enjoy your life to the fullest.
“Our partnership with Philips brings a unique perspective given their clinical expertise and insights into consumers. Together we support the World Health Organization’s goal of reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease by at least 25% by the year 2025”, Ralston added.
Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.