Young and Old Are Affected By Cardiovascular Disease

In the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s 2010 Annual Report on Canadians’ Health they warn of a “perfect storm” of risk factors and demographic changes that will place an unprecedented burden on Canadians fragmented cardiovascular care system.  They believe that young and old will be affected.

In Canada every 7 minutes someone has a heart attack (70,000 people) (Statistics Canada 2011c).   Approximately 16,000 people will die each year as a result from a heart attack (Statistics Canada, 2012c). The costs to the Canadian economy is more than $20.9 billion every year (Conference Board of Canada, 2010).

Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

Nine in 10 Canadians (90%) have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes) (PHAC, 2009).

The signs are clear.  Between 1994 and 2005 hight blood pressure has risen by 77% (young and old); diabetes by 45% and obesity by 18%.  Between the ages of 35-49 high blood pressure rose by 127%, diabetes by 64% and obesity by 20%.

The new at-risk populations include:

  • Young Canadian adults in their 20s and 30s
  • Women between the ages of 35 and 45
  • Boomers (50-64)
  • Some of Canada’s growing ethno-cultural communities
  • Aboriginal Peoples, who are experiencing a full-blown cardiovascular crisis

The study also showed that over 50% of the population in every province and territory in Canada are now at an unhealthy weight.  The Director of Health Policy, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Candada, Mr. Stephen Samis, says”, “The magnitude of this problem has become so large, the only way forward is to implement a comprehensive, Canadian heart-health strategy that focuses on at-risk and disadvantaged populations, addresses the disparities between provinces and territories and integrates Canada’s fragmented system of cardiac care services.”

Canadians were asked about specific issues within a National Heart-Health Strategy, here’s some thoughts that came up:

  •  9 out of 10 Canadians said we need to reduce childhood obesity
  • 7 out of 10 said we need programs to help people quit smoking
  • 6 out of 10 support women’s heart-health programs
  • 6 out of 10 believe we need to ensure automatic defibrillators are in public places

You can take the Heart & Stroke Risk Assessment

Signs of a Heart Attack

Although chest pain or discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack, some people will not experience any chest pain, or only mild discomfort.  Here is what to watch for, some may experience one symptom, while some experience a combination.

  • Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Light-Headednes

Reducing Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

  • Do not smoke
  • Exercise 30 min./day on most days
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet (low in fat, cholesterol and salt…increase fruits, vegetables, whole grains….avoid saturated and trans fats when you can.
  • Maintain a healthy weight (watch your waist line: considered over weight is 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women)
  • Get regular health screenings

According to a study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, chiropractic help may have a significant effect on blood pressure and anxiety levels.  The study showed, in all cases, those who received active help saw a distinct drop in their anxiety levels and in their blood pressure.  The results of this study show evidence that chiropractic help can offer support to help the cardiovascular system.

The role of a chiropractor is to bring the musculoskeletal structure into proper alignment.  In order to do this chiropractors will change the position of your body and then apply some pressure to points along the spine that are out of place.  Sometimes there can be a popping sound that can happen when there is a change in pressure in your joints and gas bubbles are released.  By realigning your spine, chiropractors unblock nerve energy to allow it to flow better down your spine and throughout your body.  When committed to a wellness program the benefits overtime can provide you with overall optimal health, including a healthier heart.

We encourage you to contact a chiropractor in your area and see how they can help you start living a healthier life now.


At Sante Chiropractic and Wellness Centre we believe in doing all we can to help you with your healthy lifestyle and are involved in hosting a run in the Ottawa area.  It is being held this year on September 29, 2013.  For more information and to register go here:  Run Like Health

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