Heart health: recommendations for better heart health
Heart health matters
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation heart disease and stroke claim the lives of more men and women in Canada than any other cause. In fact, over 1.3 million Canadians are living with heart disease. Although some risk for heart disease is inherited, there are many actions you can take to reduce your chances of developing this dangerous condition.
What is Heart disease?
Heart disease includes a number of conditions affecting the structures or function of the heart. They can include:
- Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries)
- Heart attack
- Abnormal heart rhythms or arrythmias
- Heart failure
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
- Pericardial disease
- Aorta disease and Marfan syndrome
- Vascular disease (blood vessel disease)
What are the risk factors of Cardiovascular Disease?
Understanding the different types of heart disease and knowing if you have risk factors can help you to prevent it. According to the World Health Organization, the most important behavioral risk factors of heart disease and stroke are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol. The effects of behavioral risk factors may show up in individuals as raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, raised blood lipids, and being overweight and obesity. These “intermediate risks factors” can be measured in primary care facilities and indicate an increased risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other complications.