Click here to close now.

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
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction. ...
"We help to transform an organization and their operations and make them more efficient, more agile, and more nimble to move into the cloud or to move between cloud providers and create an agnostic tool set," noted Jeremy Steinert, DevOps Services Practice Lead at WSM International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
The basic integration architecture, as defined by ESBs, hasn’t changed for more than a decade. Most cloud integration providers still rely on an ESB architecture and their proprietary connectors. As a result, enterprise integration projects suffer from constraints of availability and reliability of these connectors that are not re-usable across other integration vendors. However, the rapid adoption of APIs and almost ubiquitous availability of APIs amongst most SaaS and Cloud applications are ra...
Agile, which started in the development organization, has gradually expanded into other areas downstream - namely IT and Operations. Teams – then teams of teams – have streamlined processes, improved feedback loops and driven a much faster pace into IT departments which have had profound effects on the entire organization. In his session at DevOps Summit, Anders Wallgren, Chief Technology Officer of Electric Cloud, will discuss how DevOps and Continuous Delivery have emerged to help connect dev...
"What Dyn is able to do with our Internet performance and our Internet intelligence is give companies visibility into what is actually going on in that cloud," noted Corey Hamilton, Product Marketing Manager at Dyn, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of pro...
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies drivi...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of...
Live Webinar with 451 Research Analyst Peter Christy. Join us on Wednesday July 22, 2015, at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET In a world where users are on the Internet and the applications are in the cloud, how do you maintain your historic SLA with your users? Peter Christy, Research Director, Networks at 451 Research, will discuss this new network paradigm, one in which there is no LAN and no WAN, and discuss what users and network administrators gain and give up when migrating to the agile world of clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that JFrog, maker of Artifactory, the popular Binary Repository Manager, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based in California, Israel and France, founded by longtime field-experts, JFrog, creator of Artifactory and Bintray, has provided the market with the first Binary Repository solution and a software distribution social platform.
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at th...
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult – let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and liv...