Heart Month: healthy lifestyle can help prevent heart disease, but biology still a factor
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you may be thinking of filling your heart with people you love, but February is also a month to think about your heart health.
It’s Heart Month across the country, and with about 2.4 million Canadian adults affected by heart disease, Canadians are encouraged to learn about their individual risk factors and to make one change to improve their heart health.
“Everyone one of us in North American and in Canada is at some risk of developing heart disease,” said Dr. Anthony Tang, CEO and scientific director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet). “For some, the risk is higher, and some of that has to do with how you live your life.”
“If you live a healthy life — you eat well, you exercise regularly, you don’t smoke — if you do all those things you [can reduce your risk].”
While living a healthy lifestyle can help, Tang said biology can also play a role in your chances of developing heart disease.
According to Tang, London leads Canada and the world in heart disease research. Right now, he said, researchers are working to identify who is at a greater risk of developing heart disease.
“Once we discover that, we want to find out if there are ways to prevent it from developing, and if not, is there a way we can get to the individual within a few minutes so that we can correct the problem before the person dies,” Tang said.
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Heart disease is currently the second leading cause of death in Canada, and according to Tang, it will be the leading cause of death in Canada and across the world by 2020.
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