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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including heart disease and stroke, are the world's number one killers, claiming 17.5 million lives a year globally.
In the WHO South-East Asia Region, cardiovascular diseases cause an estimated 3.7 million deaths annually, one fourth of all deaths.
One third of these deaths from cardiovascular diseases is premature and occurs among those aged less than 70 years.
"The majority of premature deaths due to cardiovascular disease can be prevented through simple measures such as consuming a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and by managing stress," said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO regional director for South-East Asia.
The theme for World Heart Day this year is - ‘Healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere'.