Navigation Links
Fewer than 1 in 10 Canadians in ideal cardiovascular health

Fewer than 1 in 10 adult Canadians is in ideal cardiovascular health, according to the new CANHEART health index developed to measure heart health published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the second leading cause of death in Canada.

"A large proportion of Canadians are in poor cardiovascular health, and the overall trend has not changed in the past decade," says senior author Dr. Jack Tu, from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario. "There is an urgent need to improve the heart health of Canadians."

To understand Canadians' level of heart health, a team of researchers developed the Cardiovascular Health in Ambulatory Care Research Team (CANHEART) health index, which measures the ideal health behaviours and factors for optimal heart health. They looked at data on 464 883 people aged 12 years and older who participated in the Canadian Community Health Survey in which people answered questions about their health, health activities and use of health care services between 2003 and 2011.

Participants were categorized into two groups: adults aged 20 years and older and youth aged 12 to 19 years. Adults received scores ranging from worst (0) to best (6), whereas youth received scores between 0 and 4 (best). Ideal heart health was defined as a score of either 6 on the adult index or 4 on the youth index.

The CANHEART index looked at six ideal heart health behaviours and factors:

  • Smoking: nonsmoker or former smoker who quit more than a year ago in adults; never tried smoking or never smoked a whole cigarette for youth

  • Overweight/obesity: body mass index less than 25; age- and sex-specific cut-offs for youth

  • Physical activity: for adults, at least 30 minutes of walking per day; for youth, at least 1 hour of walking or 20 minutes running/jogging each day

  • Fruit and vegetable consumption: at least five times a day

  • Hypertension: no high blood pressure

  • Diabetes: no diabetes

The good news? Over the study period, more people were eating fruits and vegetables at least five or more times a day, there was a trend toward increasing physical activity (about 0.5% each year), and smoking decreased each year. The bad news? Increasing trends of overweight/obesity, hypertension and diabetes in adults and overweight/obesity in youth.

Women had better heart health scores than men and were three times more likely to be in ideal heart health between the ages of 40 and 49 years than men. More than one-third (37.3%) of Canadian adults were in poor cardiovascular health, and only 9.4% were in ideal cardiovascular health. For youth, about half (49.7%) were in poor cardiovascular health with only 16.6% in ideal cardiovascular health.

As people aged, heart health decreased, perhaps because of weight gain and development of hypertension and diabetes as reported in previous studies.

"Ninety per cent of Canadians have at least one heart health risk factor that could be modified by addressing behaviours that can affect cardiac risk," says Dr. Tu.

People in British Columbia scored the highest; the lowest scores, denoting the poorest cardiovascular health, were in Newfoundland and Labrador on the east coast. The trend toward poorer heart health was consistent from west to east.

Reducing Canadians' risk is more urgent than ever, because heart disease and stroke still take one life every seven minutes in Canada.

"Up to 80% of premature heart disease is preventable," says Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada President Bobbe Wood. "Unfortunately, almost 4 in 10 of us are in poor health. The good news is that by adopting healthy behaviour now, many Canadians can considerably reduce the effects of heart disease and stroke."

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada will use the CANHEART index to track and measure progress toward its impact goal to significantly improve the health of Canadians by decreasing their risk factors for heart disease and stroke by 10% by the year 2020. This will complement the foundation's impact goal to reduce Canadians' rate of death from heart disease and stroke by 25% by 2020.

"The CANHEART health index will be a useful tool for members of the general public, clinicians, researchers, chronic disease organizations and decision-makers interested in monitoring cardiovascular health and reducing the burden of chronic noncommunicable diseases in Canada," the authors conclude.


Contact: Kim Barnhardt
613-520-7116 x2224
Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related biology news :

1. Less couch time equals fewer cookies
2. Good news: Fewer maternal and child deaths
3. Older overweight children consume fewer calories than their healthy weight peers
4. Eating fewer, larger meals may prove healthier for obese women
5. Tumors evolve rapidly in a childhood cancer, leaving fewer obvious tumor targets
6. Breast cancer patients experience fewer side effects from anticancer drug when receiving acupuncture
7. Canadians support interventions to reduce dietary salt
8. New canary seed is ideal for gluten-free diets in celiac disease
9. Fetal tissue-derived stem cells may be ideal source for repairing tissues and organs
10. Minneapolis Heart Institute selected to participate in Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network
11. HUNT Biosciences and SomaLogic collaborate to validate protein biomarkers of cardiovascular risk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/20/2016)... 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce its ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will ... VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, ... and usability. ... partnership. "This marketing and technology partnership ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... DALLAS , May 12, 2016 ... has just published the overview results from the Q1 ... of the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a ... wearables data with a health insurance company. ... choose to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... today released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification ... deployment of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can ... and accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face ... of MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, ... second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical ... eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval ... of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory ...
Breaking Biology Technology: