Facts about heart disease

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada and the world. 

Some sobering statistics

Every 7 minutes in Canada someone dies from heart disease or stroke.

That's 206 people dying from cardiovascular disease and stroke every day. 1

29% of all deaths in Canada are from heart disease

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada, claiming more than 33,600 lives per year. 1,2 

Aboriginal people are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to develop heart disease

Than the general Canadian population. 3

Heart disease also has an enormous financial cost.

Cardiovascular disease costs the Canadian economy more than $20.9 Billion every year. 4

For these reasons and many more, cardiovascular disease is one of the world’s most pressing health problems. And it's only going to get worse before it gets better. 

Find out about heart disease among
WomenFirst Nations People

A gathering storm

While advances in medical research continue to create the potential to increase life expectancy and quality of life... the community at large isn’t playing their part. Increasing rates of obesity and diabetes in the community are creating a virtual tsunami of cardiovascular disease in the years to come.

Risk factors for heart disease

Nine in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke

Rosk factors include smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.5

More than 2 million Canadians have diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in Canada and prevalence is on the rise. 6

40 per cent of Canadians report being overweight or obese.

More than 14 million Canadians are obese or overweight. 6

How our research is saving lives

Established 25 years ago, the Heart Research Institute is an internationally recognised medical research institute performing groundbreaking cardiovascular research. Today, our work is more relevant than ever.
Discover the latest from our research laboratories. Read more


1 Statistics Canada, 2011,
2 2009 Tracking Heart Disease and Stroke in Canada
3 Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan Steering Committee. Canadian Heart Health Strategy andAction Plan: Building a Heart Healthy Canada. Ottawa, Canada, 2009
4 Conference Board of Canada, 2010 
5 Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) 2009
6 CANSIM 2014