By Kait Huziak
Future alumna, KPU’s Bachelor of Journalism and Communications program
When calendars turn over to February, thoughts of love and romance begin to warm the cockles of our hearts as Valentine’s Day draws near. So it’s only suiting that during this month of affection that the Heart and Stroke Foundation have made February Heart Month.
In Canada, a life is taken by heart disease or stroke every seven minutes and 90 per cent of Canadians have at least one risk factor. But through the efforts of canvassing volunteers, Heart Month is the foundation’s key opportunity to reach millions of Canadians and alert them to the risks of heart disease and stroke.
So what is heart disease? The belief that it’s one condition would be untrue. But rather, heart disease is a group of conditions affecting the structure and functions of the heart. And to make things more complicated, there are many root causes. Ultimately, the more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of cardiovascular disease. These factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and being overweight.
An article published by the Globe and Mail noted that work-life balance can sometimes even be a contributing factor. A study from the Conference Board of Canada concluded that workers were two to six times more likely to have multiple cardiovascular risk factors if their managers were rigid about work-family conflicts.
Although heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death for Canadian men and women, they are also preventable and manageable.
Want to find out if you’re at risk? Then take the free Heart & Stroke Risk Assessment. Here you’ll get a personalized risk profile and a customized action plan for healthy living that includes tips, tools, and much more to help reduce your risk.
Assessment hyperlink: https://ehealth.heartandstroke.ca/?LID=1&pgSrc=risk_ont&ref=http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.5380955/k.BD79/HeartStroke_eTools.htm&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1&_ga=1.148276599.112697155.1423675040
Globe and Mail hyperlink: