Heart Matters

Fact #1:

Genes— not destiny—are key indicators when it comes to heart disease!

“When it comes to heart disease, lifestyle usually trumps genetics,” says noted genetic researcher Dr. Robert Hegele of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and lecturer at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2009. Dr. Hegele’s work is unraveling the nature vs. nurture debate that has intrigued scientists for years. He says that for about five per cent of patients, the effect of genetics is so strong there is little they can do, but that 95 per cent of us can override our genes by following a healthy lifestyle.

Fact #2:

High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease.

Fact #3:

Salt affects blood pressure

“This (Canadian Inuit study) is a population currently undergoing a significant dietary transition away from their traditional diet which includes large amounts of fish and marine products to a Western diet. NOTE: Both diastolic and systolic blood pressures increased with amount of sodium consumed.” (Dr. Chateau-Degat CCVC 2009)

Fact #4:

Young Canadians are at increasing risk!

Grade 9 students with 2002 2008 Increase from 2002 to 2008
One or more cardiovascular risk factors 17% 21% +4%
High blood pressure 19% 17% -2%
Elevated cholesterol levels 9% 16% +7%

“It is shocking that one in five 14 and 15 year olds has high blood pressure,” says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. “What does this say for the future health of these young teens? They are at risk of developing long-term health effects such as premature heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.”

Fact #5:

Physical activity can be a lifesaver – literally. When you’re active 30 to 60 minutes a day, most days of the week, you can dramatically lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Regular activity also helps prevent and control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.

Genes— not destiny—are key indicators when it comes to heart disease!

Fact #6:

If your waistline is increasing so is your risk of heart disease! Here is a great assessment tool:www.heartandstroke.on.ca

Fact #7:

Healthy eating promotes a healthy heart! Keep on checking out the web resources from the January newsletter for idea and encouragement!

Fact #8:

These facts are from the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. (www.heartandstroke.on.ca)