February 1, 2009

Heart Health Month

February is Heart Health Month and the Winnipeg health region's Cardiac Sciences Program is reminding you to be 'heart smart.'

Heart Health Tips

Cardiovascular disease or heart disease is the number one killer in Canada. It is also the most costly disease in Canada, putting the greatest burden on our national health care system.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, several factors, individually or in combination, can lead to heart disease:

  • smoking
  • diets rich in saturated fat
  • physical inactivity
  • stress
  • family history of heart disease
  • being overweight

Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and obesity are also serious risk factors.

Be Heart Smart from the Start

  • Don't smoke.
  • Eat a wider variety of foods.
  • Get an accumulated 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Control your weight, but avoid fad or miracle diets.
  • Have regular medical check-ups that include measurement of your blood cholesterol level.

    Information from Health Canada

Know the Signs

Dr. Alan Menkis, Medical Director of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's Cardiac Sciences Program encourages everyone to know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack:

  • sudden, persistent squeezing / pressure feeling in the centre of the chest that may also be felt in the chest, neck, jaw, shoulder, arms or back; the word "angina" means "choking" in Greek
  • in women, the pain may feel more vague but affects the same areas
  • difficulty breathing
  • indigestion
  • vomiting
  • cool / clammy skin
  • increased anxiety

If you have any combination of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Call 9-1-1 or ask someone to drive you to a hospital.

Learn more about the Region's Cardiac Sciences Program

Visit the Cardiac Sciences website

Recent Stories about the Cardiac Sciences Program

The following stories were published in the Winter 2008 issue of Aspire, the Winnipeg health region's health and wellness magazine:

Crafting a Cardiac Centre of Excellence

A World Class Team in Cardiac Sciences

Through the Eyes of a Patient

Cardiac Care Based on Urgency, Logic

Cardiac Sciences features on the CJOB Health Report

October 28, 2007
Living with Heart Failure
(Begins at 8 minutes, 30 seconds)

October 14, 2007
Good Nutrition for a Healthy Heart
(Begins at 8 minutes, 35 seconds)

September 9, 2007
Cardiac Care at St. Boniface General Hospital
(Begins at 8 minutes, 10 seconds)

In order to listen to these reports, you will need to have Windows Media Player installed on your computer. Click here to download the latest version.

The Health Report airs every Sunday on CJOB at 11:00 a.m.

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