UEFA is giving its support to the World Heart Federation (WHF) and its World Heart Day on Saturday – and emphasises how sport can help nurture a healthy lifestyle and prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The World Heart Federation is one of UEFA's long-standing core social responsibility partners. In particular, UEFA will be supporting the WHF in raising awareness about heart disease risks among women in the run-up to and during next year's UEFA Women's EURO 2013 in Sweden.
A new multi-national survey reveals the extent of misconceptions about when is the right time to start taking action to prevent cardiovascular disease. In a four-country survey sample of 4,000 adults, 49% answered the age of 30 years or older when asked at what age they believe people should start to take action about their heart health to prevent conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
The fact is that cardiovascular disease can affect people of all ages and population groups, and the risk begins early in life through unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity and exposure to tobacco.
"The fact is that good heart health starts from childhood. We have an opportunity to change the course of cardiovascular disease and its global impact, by encouraging and supporting heart-healthy living from an early age," said Professor Sidney C Smith Jr, president of the WHF.
The new multinational survey conducted in Brazil, India, UK and the United States by the WHF reveals that, on average, people believe 32.2 years is the age to take action about their heart health. Men aged 40 years and over are most likely to delay taking action, believing an average age of 37.3 years is the time to start caring for heart health cardiovascular disease risk factors such as physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, obesity and tobacco use, which can have lifelong consequences for men, women and children.
UEFA emphasises through its backing for World Heart Day that there can be no better way to prevent cardiovascular diseases than by playing football – a sport which is open to everyone.
Football has tremendous power and influence, and can shape the attitudes and behaviour that affect health. Accessible to all, the game makes an enormous contribution to the physical and mental well-being of young people across the globe.
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