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WHO calls for reducing heart disease in women


New Delhi: The World Health Organization on Monday called on all countries to try and reduce heart disease in women.

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the world’s number one killers, claiming 17.5 million lives a year globally.

In the southeast Asia region, cardiovascular diseases cause an estimated 3.7 million deaths annually, one fourth of all deaths, while one third of these deaths from cardiovascular diseases are premature and occurs among those aged less than 70 years, the WHO said in a statement on the eve of the World Heart Day on Tuesday.

It called on countries to take action to reduce heart disease in women.

“Cardiovascular diseases are a major health problem among women and remain under-recognized and under-treated. Risk factors for heart disease in women mirror those in men and include lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, overweight and obesity, harmful alcohol use and physical inactivity, as well as physiological risk factors such as elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus,” it said.

The world body said that in addition to this, in the southeast Asia region, exposure to household air pollution from using solid fuels for cooking substantially increases the risk of heart disease in women.

The majority of premature deaths due to cardiovascular disease can be prevented through simple measures such as consuming a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and by managing stress.

The theme for this World Heart Day – “Healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere” – is a reminder “of the impact that our environments can have on our ability to make the best choice for a healthy heart”, it said.

The statement said that the WHO region for southeast Asia has set a target for reducing premature mortality from cardiovascular disease and other non-communicable diseases by 25 percent by 2025 and has developed a regional action plan to achieve this target.

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