It’s that time of year again when you get in trouble with your significant other for forgetting a Valentine’s Day gift or have to pay triple the price for a bunch of sad looking roses from the supermarket on the way home!

But for us at VIVA! Communications, February 14 is an important day as it also marks National Wear Red Day. Run by Heart Research Australia, the day is designed to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and raise money for critical research.

A cause close to our hearts (excuse the pun), we’ve worked with several clients over the years in this space and have spoken to numerous people who’ve had their lives devastated by heart disease. In fact, latest figures show that two in every three Australian families are impacted by heart disease at some point.

As the Asia Pacific (APAC) Hub Lead for GLOBALHealthPR, a network of independent healthcare PR agencies from around the world, here at VIVA! we tend to put a regional lens on a lot of our work.

The news about cardiovascular disease (CVD) across APAC is not good.

CVD is already the leading cause of death globally and it is estimated that half the cases of CVD occur in Asia.

The risk of CVD is greater among older people and this is a huge issue in APAC, with it’s rapidly ageing population. In 2016, approximately 12.4% of Asia’s population was 60 years of age or older but this is expected to grow to more than 25% by 2050 in just thirty years’ time. 

The four main risk factors for CVDs are hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking and obesity. Hypertension exerts the greatest cost across Asia’s largest eight markets with an estimated total of US$18bn annually. High cholesterol contributes US$15bn, smoking US$11bn and obesity $8bn.

Worryingly, there is a lack of awareness among many countries about the risks and symptoms of CVDs leading people to make bad decisions and discontinue treatment. In Australia this is not so much the case anymore thanks to a number of public health campaigns in recent years.

If early warning signs are addressed, lifestyle changes and medications are convenient and cost-effective ways to manage CVD, and they reduce the chance of life-threatening incidences. More importantly, by creating greater awareness of early symptoms and diagnosing silent risks, it is possible to prevent many instances of CVD altogether.

So what can you do to support Wear Red Day?

Even if you’re not wearing something red today, you can still show your support with a donation or a conversation with your friends and family to discuss ways you can prevent the risk of heart disease in your lives.

Here are some top tips to keep your heart healthy:

  • Keep an eye on your blood pressure and get it checked regularly
  • Ensure your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are under control
  • Eat a healthy and varied diet
  • Get regular exercise
  • Limit your alcohol intake and definitely don’t smoke!
  • Make sure you get enough sleep

With the money raised going towards vital first-stage, innovative research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease – the leading cause of death and disability in Australia – it’s definitely a great cause to be part of.

Find out more and make a donation here: