Over a hundred countries celebrate World Heart Day today.

Heart disease and stroke is the world’s largest killer, claiming 17.5 million lives each year. That’s why World Heart Day was created, to create public awareness of risk factors for heart disease and stroke and to promote preventive measures.

Statistics suggest that South Asians seem more naturally vulnerable to heart disease than other ethnic groups. Lancet 2000 study showed that, even after adjusting for all known risk factors; South Asians in Canada appeared to have a higher rate of heart disease than Europeans or Chinese living there.

Nearly 95 percent of people who developed a fatal cardiovascular disease had at least one of these major risk factors: high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes besides a poor diet and overweight.