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Think you could spot cardiovascular disease?

What do you know about cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular diseases are defined as diseases and injuries of the cardiovascular system: the heart, the blood vessels of the heart and the system of blood vessels (veins and arteries) throughout the body and within the brain.

Over the past 40 years the rates of heart disease and stroke have steadily declined. The rate has declined:

  • 25% over the past 10 years
  • 50% over the past 20 years

Despite this decline, every 7 minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke. In fact, cardiovascular disease is still one of the leading causes of death in Canada (According to Statistics Canada in 2008).

In 2008 cardiovascular disease accounted for:

  • 29% of all deaths in Canada
  • 28% of all male deaths
  • 29.7% of all female deaths

The leading cause of hospitalization in Canada continues to be heart disease and stroke, accounting for 16.9 % of total hospitalizations.

While the majority of prevention programs have focused on MEN and cardiovascular disease, among WOMEN, heart disease is the leading cause of death in North America!

Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a “man’s disease,” around the same number of women and men die each year of heart disease in the United States. Unfortunately, 36% of women did not perceive themselves to be at risk for heart disease.

Heart disease killed 26% of the women who died in 2006—more than one in every four.

Almost two-thirds of the women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.

For both Men and Women, 9 out of 10 heart disease patients have at least one risk factor.

RISK FACTORS:Risk for cardiovascular disease

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Physical inactivity
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Alcohol use
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

What is the use of knowing risk factors?

These are the things to modify if you want to lower your risk!

  • Quit Smoking!
  • Do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity every day!
  • Lose 10 pounds!
  • Reduce the carbohydrates and unhealthy fats in your diet, and increase the fiber and healthy fats!
  • Moderate your alcohol intake (e.g., less than 6 oz of wine or beer per day is often recommended)
  • By following the above advice, you can not only improve your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, but also reduce your risk of developing diabetes.


1) Statistics – Heart and Stroke Foundation

2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Video by: Go Red For Women

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