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Notice to Readers: World Heart Day --- September 28, 2008

Worldwide, approximately 17.5 million deaths are attributed to heart disease and stroke each year (1). Controlling certain risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, tobacco use, and physical inactivity, can help prevent heart disease and stroke.

In 2000, the World Heart Federation, a nongovernmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, created the annual World Heart Day campaign to increase public awareness of the threat of heart disease and stroke. The theme of this year's World Heart Day is "Know Your Risk!," a call to action for persons to understand their risk for cardiovascular disease. Approximately 100 member organizations will participate in the event this year. Activities will include free heart health screenings, walks, runs, jump rope sessions, fitness events, public talks, scientific forums, exhibitions, concerts, and sports tournaments to highlight the importance of a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease.

CDC funds heart disease and stroke prevention programs in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Additional information about these programs is available at Information about World Heart Day and the World Heart Federation is available at


  1. World Health Organization. Preventing chronic diseases: a vital investment. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2005. Available at

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Date last reviewed: 9/25/2008


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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