Cardiovascular disease remains the primary cause of death for adults in Belgium, making cardiovascular health an important public health concern. Every year we organise Heart for Life, an awareness campaign that targets people above the age of 45. We aim to inform participants about their personal cardiovascular risk and how to reduce it.
Medical students go out onto the streets of major cities to offer more information about cardiovascular disease and its risk factors to the general public. If someone is interested they can then get their blood pressure, BMI and cholesterol assessed. Students will then discuss their smoking behaviour, activity level and dietary habits. With this information the person's cardiovascular risk is estimated.
Afterwards students will go over possible lifestyle changes participants can consider to limit their cardiovascular risk. Lastly people are free to discuss their results in more detail with one of the designated experts present. Generally a cardiologist, tabacologist, dietician and sportscoach are present at the event. Central to the event is the principle that small adjustments can make a big difference.
Before the event, students receive an introductory course about the etiology of cardiovascular disease and how to speak to the general public about prevention. Younger students are also taught how to properly measure blood pressure and cholesterol to ensure the quality of the event for both the students and the participants.
All people above 18 years old aim to minimise their cardiovascular risk. Cardiovascular disease is reduced to a minimum.
All people above 18 years old in Belgium are made aware of the risk factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. People can implement lifestyle changes that have a reduction of cardiovascular disease as a result.
Last year we organised 8 Heart for Life Projects.
We screened 1553 participants and 394 students volunteered.