Get Involved in World Heart Day 2021

Cardiology Magazine

As cardiovascular professionals, we are constantly exposed to the daily impact of cardiovascular disease on our local patients, families and communities. We have special insight into the local challenges in education and awareness, as well as patient access to care. Yet cardiovascular disease spans far beyond our local communities and remains the number one cause of death worldwide.

World Heart Day was established by the World Heart Federation with the goal to raise global awareness of cardiovascular disease. Occurring every year on Sept. 29, World Heart Day unites patients from all around the world, of all different backgrounds, with quality cardiovascular care and education to lead heart-healthy lifestyles and reduce their cardiovascular risk.

Global Burden of CVD1

  • Leading cause of death worldwide
  • In 2019, 17.9 million people died from CVDs
  • CVD accounts for 32% of global deaths per year
  • Over 75% of CVD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries

The global burden of cardiovascular disease can be reduced by addressing behavioral risk factors through decreasing tobacco abuse and obesity and promoting a healthy diet and exercise1. On World Heart Day we encourage each other and our patients to engage in physical activities, eat heart-healthy foods and encourage smoking cessation.

Get Involved

There are multiple patient resources available through ACC's CardioSmart to spread awareness and education about cardiovascular disease. In addition, ACC members from around the globe can utilize patient resources in other languages including Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese to further spread awareness and education.

The simplest way to get involved is to practice a heart-healthy lifestyle through a healthy diet and exercise. This will help you to engage with and encourage your patients and the local community. Share your experiences, heart-healthy tips, and exercise routines on social media using the official World Heart Day hashtags #UseHeart and #WorldHeartDay, and the ACC CV Team Section hashtag #ACCCVT.

Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle as a CV Professional

So much of our time is dedicated to the service of our patients and educating them on proper diet, exercise and medication regimens to give them the best outcomes in life. As busy cardiovascular professionals, it can be difficult to find time to relax and decompress from a stressful day, much less exercise consistently and meal plan to maintain a healthy diet. This year during World Heart Day, while we join together to spread awareness and education extending from our own communities to around the world, take time to engage in your own heart-healthy activities.

While we are taking care of our communities, we must also take care of ourselves and fellow cardiovascular professionals. It can start with simple things such as taking a full lunch break to disconnect from the stress of work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

World Heart Day includes everyone, it includes you!

Heart-Healthy Recipes from Marci Farquhar-Snow, NP, AACC

Breakfast – Barley Parfait

1 cup pearl barley
2 1/2 cup water

Add pearl barley to water. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer until soft about 15-18 min. Spoon desired amount of serving into bowls or glasses, about 1/2 cup. Refrigerate and save any remaining pearl barley for future meals.

2 large apples, peaches, or pears (cut in thin slices)
1 t. cinnamon (optional ginger)
1/4 t. salt

Sprinkle apple slices with salt and cinnamon. Microwave 1-2 min. until tender.

1 cup (8 oz) plain Greek yogurt
1 t. cinnamon
Optional: 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds; 1 t. honey

Top fruit over cooked pearl barley. Top fruit with yogurt Dust with cinnamon
Optional: Top with nuts and/or drizzle with honey for added sweetness.

Serves 4

Lunch – Barley Salad

1 avocado (cut in 1/2 in. cubes)
1/2 medium fresh lime juice (squeezed)

Blend avocado and lime juice together.

1/4 red onion (diced)
1 cup cooked pearl barley
1 sprig (about 1/8 cup) cilantro or parsley (finely chopped)
1 tomato (diced)
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: pinch red pepper powder or flakes for heat

Add the above remaining ingredients well into the avocado mixture. Serve in bowls
Optional: 6 corn tortillas, warmed or with warm corn tortillas.

Serves 2-3

Dinner – Mushroom Barley

1 T. olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion (diced)
1 garlic clove (diced)
2 T whole wheat flour

Heat oil on medium heat. Add onion and garlic until just softened. Add flour; stir constantly to light brown about 1 min.

1 T. butter
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 stalk celery (diced)
1/2 t. dried or 1 t. fresh thyme or basil
pinch nutmeg
1/4 t. salt

Add butter, salt, and mushrooms to the pan. Heat on medium 1-2 min. until mushrooms start to soften.

2 cup water
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
salt and pepper to taste

Add water and pearl barley. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer 15-20 min. until water is absorbed and barely tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4

Side – Carrot Apple Salad

2 large carrots, grated
1 large apple, grated
1/4 c. golden raisins
1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt
pinch salt

Mix together. Chill 1 hr.

Serves 2-3


  1. Cardiovascular diseases. World Health Organization. Published June 11, 2021. Accessed August 22, 2021.

This article was authored by Bailey Ann Estes, BSN, RN-BC, RNFA, CNOR, RCIS, cardiac registered nurse, first assistant and research coordinator at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, TX.

This content was developed independently from the content developed for This content was not reviewed by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for medical accuracy and the content is provided on an "as is" basis. Inclusion on does not constitute a guarantee or endorsement by the ACC and ACC makes no warranty that the content is accurate, complete or error-free. The content is not a substitute for personalized medical advice and is not intended to be used as the sole basis for making individualized medical or health-related decisions. Statements or opinions expressed in this content reflect the views of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of ACC.