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Heart Month: Keeping your heart healthy

Written by: Sameen Junejo

February is Heart Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about the role the heart plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. An estimated 70,000 Canadians suffer from heart attacks each year, with 16,000 Canadians dying as a result. It is important to learn to recognize the signs of a heart attack so you can react quickly and save a life.

Warning Signs of Heart Disease and Stroke

The warning signs of a heart attack are below:

50,000 Canadians each year experience a stroke and out of 100 people that have a stroke, 15 per cent die as a result. Strokes can happen at any age, however, after the age of 55 the risk of stroke doubles every ten years. The warning signs of stroke are below:

Warning signs of heart disease and stroke should not be taken lightly. While heart disease and stroke are treatable, like any other disease, it is best to diagnose early to ensure the person is able to receive necessary care, treatment and support.

Treatment for heart disease includes a wide array of medication, surgeries and therapies. People suffering from a heart disease should consult their doctor to decide which medical option is best for them, given their condition.

Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

The best defense against heart disease and stroke is to take control of the risk factors that could escalate to coronary artery disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, being overweight and physical inactivity.

There are only four risk factors we cannot control, age, gender, ethnicity and genetics; however, we can control how we live our lives. Almost all risk factors can be controlled:

Caring for Somebody Living with Heart Disease and Stroke

After somebody suffers from a heart disease or stoke, it is normal for them to feel more tired than usual as their body is still healing and needs time to rest and rejuvenate. The person who has suffered from heart disease or stroke will need to take some time off work or if retired, focus on resting. There are many steps a caregiver or family member can take to make life a little easier:

Treatment for heart disease includes a wide array of medication, surgeries and therapies. People suffering from a heart disease should consult their doctor to decide which medical option is best for them, given their condition.

Resources:

Caring for someone with cardiovascular disease can be a complex task. You can find out what services are available in your community from a number of sources:

Canadian Cardiovascular Society

Cardiac Health Foundation

Heart and Stroke Foundation

Canadian Society Smokers Helpline

To download a pdf with this information, please click here.

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Disclaimer: Bayshore is pleased to provide information that educates you as you strive to care for your loved ones. This article contains information about Heart Disease & Stroke. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. For more information on Heart Disease & Stroke, please consult your doctor.

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