Welcome!

News Feed Item

Heart and Stroke Foundation Report: More Canadians than ever surviving heart attacks and stroke, but not enough are maintaining critical changes to prevent subsequent events

A new Foundation survey shows that although some survivors are making healthy changes, many need more support to face the challenge of recovery so they can thrive to the fullest

OTTAWA, Feb. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - According to the new Heart and Stroke Foundation 2014 Report on the Health of Canadians, there are more Canadians surviving a heart attack or stroke than ever before. But, the Report also showed that a major scare, like a heart attack or stroke, doesn't always lead to survivors being able to make and maintain potentially life-saving behaviour changes.

Over the last 60 years the death rate has declined more than 75 per cent with nearly 40 per cent of this decrease occurring in the last decade. This means that now, more than 90 per cent of Canadians who have a heart attack and more than 80 per cent who have a stroke and make it to the hospital will survive. Last year alone, there were 165,000 survivors of heart disease or stroke. While this is great news, and certainly cause for celebration, much work remains to be done.

As part of the Report, the Foundation conducted a poll* of 2,000 heart attack and stroke survivors (and loved ones who were able to answer on their behalf), to learn about their health behaviours before and after a heart attack or stroke. The poll revealed that when it comes to physical activity, managing stress and maintaining a healthy weight, survivors are struggling to make and maintain these important healthy changes. Of those who needed to make these changes, more than 50 per cent couldn't maintain the change or didn't try at all. And this is despite the fact that six in 10 survivors equate surviving with being given a second chance and no longer taking their health for granted.

"We cannot control all the factors that put us at risk for cardiovascular disease, but there are healthy changes people can make to largely prevent them from having a heart attack or stroke in the first place, including eating a healthy diet, being physically active, being smoke-free, managing stress and limiting alcohol consumption," says Dr. Beth Abramson, Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson and author of Heart Health for Canadians. "And for people living with cardiovascular disease, these healthy behaviours are especially important and could prevent them from landing back in the hospital. But we need more research, more education, and an environment that supports these healthy behaviours."

Survivors Face Barriers to Change
The poll illustrates how survivors face many barriers in making and maintaining changes, the biggest of which is related to motivation, which is defined as a lack of interest, a feeling that the goals are unrealistic and that there is too much change required all at once.  Lack of motivation can indicate anxiety, depression and a perceived lack of control over the illness.

Heart disease and stroke can affect anyone. Even an athlete, like Olympic figure skater Isabelle Brasseur, has been personally affected and has lessons to share.  "I know first-hand the importance of maintaining heart healthy behaviours. I have a congenital heart condition which has caused my heart to stop, so I have had to take steps to control my health as best I could. I lost my father and my father-in-law to heart disease, and my mother has suffered two strokes, so I understand the pain that is associated with heart disease and stroke.  My best advice is to identify early on everything you can do to reduce your risk and follow the advice of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, which is working hard to keep Canadians healthy."

The good news, according to our poll, is that seven in 10 survivors feel they are at least living a little healthier since their heart attack or stroke. The areas where survivors report the most success in making and maintaining healthy changes include eating healthier, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption. However, this also means that there are many survivors who need more help to make healthy changes, or who would benefit from assistance to get them started on a healthy path. In fact, the poll showed that two in 10 feel their lifestyle has not changed compared to before their event and one in 10 feel they are less healthy than before their event.

In addition to motivation, the poll outlined that other barriers posing challenges to survivors include:

  • Not understanding what changes need to be made or how to make them.
  • Challenges in physical or cognitive abilities since the event.
  • Financial barriers, such as the costs of healthier foods and being physically active.
  • Time constraints, including not enough time to exercise, or plan and prepare healthy meals.

Family Matters
The poll also revealed the vital role that family and friends play in a survivor's recovery. More than eight in 10 survivors feel that their family support had a positive impact on them achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Nadia Bender, a 46 year-old fitness instructor and heart attack survivor knows the importance of family in the recovery process. "I relied on my family for so much during my recovery - from daily chores, to helping out with my three kids - I simply didn't have the energy and stamina for it all. Their support also helped with my mental health and kept my stress levels in check, two important components of recovery."

Ensuring Canadians who experience a cardiac event or stroke survive is paramount, but this is only the first step in what can be a long journey back home, and back to a better state of health. Family support can make a difference as can cardiac and stroke rehabilitation.

The Role of Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation plays a critical role in improving outcomes for heart attack and stroke survivors. It is well established that cardiac rehabilitation lowers mortality by as much as 25 per cent and improves the health of those who participate by helping them make healthy changes and stick to them. Rehabilitation programs provide support directly linked to behaviour change related to controllable risk factors.

"We know rehabilitation works. The number one benefit of rehabilitation is that it keeps survivors surviving. It also makes people feel better, improves their quality of life, and reduces hospital re-admissions as well as costs to the healthcare system," says Dr. Neville Suskin, Medical Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program, St. Joseph's Health Care London, Ontario.

However, not all survivors who could benefit from rehab are able to access a program. Evidence shows that only about one-third of cardiac survivors who are eligible for rehabilitation are referred to a program, and only 19 per cent of all stroke patients are discharged from acute care to a rehabilitation facility.

Creating More Survivors
Although we've made great progress and have created more survivors than ever before, there is more work to be done. We can't lose sight of the fact that there are still 350,000 hospitalizations annually due to heart disease and stroke. Each year about 50,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed, 70,000 heart attacks occur, and 50,000 strokes send Canadians to emergency rooms across the country. And there is still room for improvement to help the 1.6 million people currently living with heart disease and stroke recover to the fullest extent possible.

"As a community we have learned so much over the years about heart disease and stroke. We are proud that Foundation-funded research and advocacy efforts have contributed to the decline in the death rate from cardiovascular disease. This ranges from identifying the leading modifiable risk factors, to developing better medications or procedures and advocating for healthy public policies. We've come such a long way, but we know our work is not done," says Bobbe Wood, President, Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Heart Healthy Tips for All Canadians
Not all the factors that put Canadians at risk can be controlled but up to 80 per cent of heart disease and stroke is preventable. Healthy behaviours all Canadians can adopt to make health last include:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Follow the recommendations in Canada's Food Guide.
  • Be physically active. 30 minutes most days of the week is all it takes to start, and everything counts.
  • Be smoke-free.
  • Manage stress. Identify the source of your stress, talk to friends and family, and take time for yourself.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Women should limit themselves to no more than two drinks a day, to a weekly maximum of 10; and men to three drinks a day to a weekly maximum of 15.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation's mission is to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery. A volunteer-based health charity, we strive to tangibly improve the health of every Canadian family, every day. Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen. heartandstroke.ca

Broadcast video to support this story is available to download at http://cnw.pathfireondemand.com/viewpackage.action?packageid=761

*The poll was conducted online by Environics Research Group between November 25 and December 3, 2013 with a sample of 2,010 Canadians. Respondents were screened to identify those who had survived a heart attack or stroke (n=465), or who had a living immediate family member or very close friend who had a heart attack or stroke in the past 10 years (n=1,545). Those who were loved ones of a survivor were asked to respond to questions about their perceptions of the survivor's experiences.

SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation

Video with caption: "Video: Heart and Stroke Foundation Report and survivor video with Olympian Isabelle Brasseur". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20140202_C6907_VIDEO_EN_36137.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20140202_C6907_PHOTO_EN_36137.jpg&clientName=Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation&caption=Video%3A%20Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%20Report%20and%20survivor%20video%20with%20Olympian%20Isabelle%20Brasseur&title=HEART%20AND%20STROKE%20FOUNDATION%20%2D%20Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%20Report%3A%20More%20Canadians%20than%20ever%20surviving%20heart%20attacks%20and%20stroke%2C%20but%20not%20enough%20are%20maintaining%20critical%20changes%20to%20prevent%20subsequent%20events&headline=Heart%20and%20Stroke%20Foundation%20Report%3A%20More%20Canadians%20than%20ever%20surviving%20heart%20attacks%20and%20stroke%2C%20but%20not%20enough%20are%20maintaining%20critical%20changes%20to%20prevent%20subsequent%20events

Image with caption: "Isabelle Brasseur, Olympic figure skater and heart disease survivor with daughter Gabrielle. Isabelle has a congenital heart condition and says she knows first-hand the importance of maintaining healthy behaviours and encourages all Canadians to take their health to heart. (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140202_C6907_PHOTO_EN_36135.jpg

Image with caption: "Nadia Bender, a fitness instructor and heart attack survivor, with her children after completing a marathon. Rehab was such a key part of Nadia's recovery that she's now also become certified in cardiac rehabilitation so she can help others. (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140202_C6907_PHOTO_EN_36136.jpg

Audio with caption: "Heart and Stroke Foundation Report: More Canadians than ever surviving heart attacks and stroke, but not enough are maintaining critical changes to prevent subsequent events". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2014/02/02/20140202_C6907_AUDIO_EN_36139.mp3

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
"We have several customers now running private clouds. They're not as large as they should be but it's getting there. The adoption challenge has been pretty simple. Look at the world today of virtualization vs cloud," stated Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
Digitization is driving a fundamental change in society that is transforming the way businesses work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Digital transformation leverages DevOps best practices, such as Agile Parallel Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile Operations to capitalize on opportunities and create competitive differentiation in the application economy. However, information security has been notably absent from the DevOps movement. Speed doesn’t have to negat...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...