Prevention

Nine in 10 Canadians over the age of 20 have at least one risk factor for heart disease. Four in 10 have three or more risk factors. At HRI, we’re working to prevent death and suffering from cardiovascular disease.
 
My family has a history of heart disease. My siblings and I are acutely aware of the risk factors.

Did you know?

More than half of Canadians report being physically inactive.

People who are physically inactive have twice the risk of having heart disease and a stroke. 1

More than 37,000 Canadians die prematurely each year from tobacco use.

Smoking increases blood pressure and contributes to the development of blocked arteries, putting you at higher risk of heart disease.1

More than 4.6 million Canadians have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Over time, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, or a thick heart muscle (hypertrophy), which can eventually lead to heart failure, a form of heart disease. 1

What can I do... to help ensure a healthier future?

1. Adapt your lifestyle.

Consume a low-fat diet high in fruit and vegetables, moderate your alcohol intake and exercise regularly

2. Break the cycle.

Our children adopt healthy eating habits from a young age. Bring your kids up in an environment where you drink water, eat fresh food and play sport regularly.

3. Support medical research.

The Heart Research Institute is an internationally recognized medical research institute performing groundbreaking cardiovascular research. Established more than 25 years ago, today our work is more relevant than ever.

How our research is preventing heart disease

Unravelling the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Researchers at The Heart Research Institute are the first in the world to uncover a link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a discovery that has the potential to save millions of lives. With these findings from Translational and Bioengineering Group, we hope to discover a way to help prevent damage to cells and cell death, and provide new treatment for vascular complications of diabetes.

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Understanding the causes of preeclampsia

If you’re a woman with children, you’ve probably heard about preeclampsia: it’s a disease of high blood pressure during pregnancy, affecting around 3-5% of all pregnancies and is life-threatening for both mother and the unborn child. Our Vascular Immunology Group at the Heart Research Institute has a principal interest in understanding the causes and progression of preeclampsia. New work by Dr Bei Xu from the Vascular Immunology Group has investigated events which occur early in pregnancy, as the placenta establishes the food source for the growing embryo.

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Why are smokers more likely to get heart disease?

Atherosclerosis (narrowing and blockage of arteries) is four times more prevalent in people who smoke, resulting in far more deaths from coronary heart disease in smokers than non-smokers. Although it is well established that smoking independently increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, the reasons are not well understood. Research by the Inflammation Group is shining a light on this.

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Sources

Public Health Agency of Canada