'Health & Lifestyle' is a weekly column on how lifestyles impact on health and wellness.

This might be a little ahead of the actual 10th anniversary of World Heart Day, but given the startling statistics on heart health in the nation, a reminder once in a while is well worth the effort.

The theme this time is "Take responsibility for your own heart health" and the World Heart Federation urges everyone to say "I work with heart". They have also outlined 10 simple steps that could be taken to keep on the good side of heart health.

The obvious points are reinstated – follow healthy diets, physical activity and say 'no' to tobacco. Linked essentially to this are components such as lowering salt intake to keep the blood pressure in check and maintaining a healthy weight.

Know your numbers, the WHF says, visit a healthcare professional who can measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, together with waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index. E. S. Krishnamoorthy, convener, Healthcare Panel, CII – Tamil Nadu, has said the component of creating awareness of personal responsibility for health cannot be overstressed, especially in the case of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. . Heart failure has been linked with all three — poor blood sugar, pressure and cholesterol control.

Effort is also on to quantify and qualify the extent and nature of heart disease in the State, according to S. Thanikachalam, director, Cardiac Care Centre, Sri Ramachandra University. A Heart Failure Registry is soon to be set up to achieve this purpose and private and public healthcare facilities have been invited to participate.