September is National Heart Awareness Month in South Africa and World Heart Day is celebrated on 29 September.
Heart disease, a non communicable disease, is one of the most serious threats to the health of our nation and it's mainly due to our lazy, Western lifestyle.
With SA's crime statistics being released today, it's interesting to note that while 49 people are murdered in South Africa every day (2014 - 2015), a whopping 210 die of heart disease every single day.
Did you know?
Cardiovascular disease is known as a non-communicable disease (NCDs), and the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the burden of NCDs in South Africa to be 2 to 3 times higher than in developed countries, accounting for up to 28% of the total burden of disease.
What's your heart age? Use the calculator and see if it's on the right, or wrong, side of your real age.
The bad and the ugly of heart and stroke in SA
High blood pressure is a silent killer - 75% of people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it.
1 in 5 children in South Africa smoke
440 people have a stroke every day in South Africa
1 in 2 adults and a quarter of children in South Africa are overweight
210 people die from heart disease every day in South Africa
80% of these premature deaths can be prevented by eating better, moving more, and avoiding smoking.
Take control of your heart health:
Stop smoking - if it's tough, consider smoking alternatives until you've got your mind over the addiction
Start exercising - if that's new to you, get into this healthy habit slowly
Stop stressing - here are 10 top ways to de-stress and stop taking life so seriously
Eat right - with all the noise around high fat, low fat, cholesterol, omega fatty acids, carbs and supplements, it's hard to know what to do, and even less what to eat. DietDoc says: go DASH or Mediterranean - they are the best diets for heart health and longevity.
What do you think? Should we worry more about crime in SA, or our health? Probably both, equally. And what do you do to keep your heart healthy? Let us know in the comments and if you have time, pop in to Dis-Chem for a free heart health screening.
Have a happy, healthy heart!