Think you're not at risk? Survey shows Canadians 40-plus need to face the 'heart-breaking' reality



    - National study reveals many still not in control of their cholesterol
    levels, underestimate link to cardiovascular disease -

    TORONTO, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - New Leger survey results reveal a concerning
disconnect when it comes to cholesterol knowledge among Canadians. While
nearly all Canadians age 40-plus say that having healthy cholesterol levels is
important to them, 73 per cent of all those polled could not identify the
desirable total cholesterol level for healthy adults. In fact, more than half
(56 per cent) surveyed do not know their own total cholesterol level. To add
to this, physicians surveyed say that about four out of every 10 patients do
not understand how they came to have high cholesterol.
    Released today, the Canadian RepOrt oN CholesTeROL (CONTROL) is a large,
national survey which provides insight into the minds of Canadians on
cholesterol, and the results show that the population is not making the
connection when it comes to their understanding and prevention practices.
Eight-in-ten Canadians surveyed are unaware that elevated-LDL ("bad")
cholesterol is one of the most important factors leading to heart disease,
while 65 per cent are unaware that heart disease is the number one cause of
death worldwide.
    "While Canadians clearly understand that high cholesterol is unhealthy,
they still aren't making the link between high cholesterol levels and being at
risk for cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Ruth McPherson, University of
Ottawa Heart Institute, involved in the design of the survey. "We need to
convert this awareness into action. The first step is for physicians to
discuss personal risk factors and cholesterol goals with their patients, and
plan effective strategies for change."

    MAJORITY HAVE NOT COMPLETELY LEARNED TO MANAGE HIGH CHOLESTEROL

    Perhaps of most concern is that of those Canadians who have been
diagnosed with high cholesterol, three-in-five have not learned to completely
manage it. In fact, three-in-ten Canadians are failing to control their
cholesterol through diet, and half are not exercising to help reduce their
cholesterol levels.
    "High cholesterol is one of the major modifiable risk factors for
cardiovascular disease," says Dr. McPherson. "CONTROL shows that for patients
with poorly controlled cholesterol values, earlier and more intensive
treatment approaches are necessary if diet and exercise are not sufficient to
reach target levels."

    CANADIANS UNDERESTIMATING THEIR RISK

    Three-in-ten Canadians surveyed have been diagnosed with high
cholesterol, a number that increases with age; 40 per cent of Canadians age
60-plus report having high cholesterol levels. CONTROL findings reveal that
nearly four-in-ten Canadians do not believe they are at risk, or only to a
"very small extent," of developing heart disease. The reality is that more
than 70 per cent of Canadians age 40-plus report having at least two risk
factors - such as family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, age,
and/or diabetes - which would place them at an increased risk for
cardiovascular disease.
    "When I was diagnosed with high cholesterol about five years ago, I had
little understanding that this put me at an increased risk for heart disease,"
says Keith O'Brien, now 58. "As a result, I became engaged and better informed
about my health. I now watch what I eat, take time to exercise and help manage
my cholesterol with medication."
    CONTROL reveals that a diagnosis of high cholesterol has an emotional and
lifestyle impact on those surveyed. One-third (32 per cent) of patients say
high cholesterol has had an impact on them long after the initial diagnosis,
and one-quarter of Canadians with high cholesterol say it is a "constant
worry."

    ABOUT CONTROL

    CONTROL was conducted to provide insight into the current state of
knowledge about cholesterol and heart disease risk in Canada. CONTROL explores
physician and patient perceptions and understanding with the goal to improve
management of high cholesterol, which affects 10 million Canadians(i). The
surveys were conducted between October 5 and November 1, 2007.
    A total of 2,103 Canadians aged 40 and older answered an on-line survey,
while 105 physicians answered a telephone survey. Results of a sample this
size comprised of Canadians can be considered accurate to +/- 2.1 per cent,
19 times out of 20. Results of a sample this size comprised of physicians can
be considered accurate to +/- 9.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
    CONTROL was conducted in partnership with the Montreal Heart Institute
(MHI) and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), and supported by an
unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Canada Inc.

    MONTREAL HEART INSTITUTE

    Founded in 1954, the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) constantly aims for
the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its
leadership in prevention, ultra-specialized care, training of professionals,
clinical and fundamental research, and assessment of new technologies. It is
affiliated with the Université de Montréal and its clinical outcomes are among
the best in the world. For more information, visit www.icm-mhi.org.

    UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA HEART INSTITUTE

    The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is a cardiovascular
health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart
disease. The UOHI delivers high-tech care with a personal touch, shapes the
way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionizes cardiac treatment
and understanding. UOHI serves the local, national and international
community, and are pioneering a new era in heart health. For more information,
visit www.ottawaheart.ca.

    PFIZER CANADA INC.

    Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., the world's
leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures and
markets prescription medicines for humans and animals. Pfizer's ongoing
research and development activities focus on a wide range of therapeutic areas
following our guiding aspiration: working for a healthier world. For more
information, visit www.pfizer.ca.

    A B-ROLL WILL BE AVAILABLE VIA SATELLITE AT THE FOLLOWING TIMES:

    Tuesday January 8, 2008
    10:30 - 11:00 and 14:30 - 15:00 firm, Eastern
    Anik F2C/7B @ 111.1 West
    Vertical Polarization, D/L Freq. 3980 MHz.
    Audio subcarriers 6.8 left, 6.2 right

    Available at Toronto T.O.C. at the same times:
    SDI Router Position No.42

    NOTE TO EDITORS: REGIONAL RESULTS FROM CONTROL ARE AVAILABLE FOR BRITISH
    COLUMBIA, ALBERTA, ONTARIO, QUEBEC AND ATLANTIC CANADA.

    ---------------------------
    (i) Cholesterol Analysis. Prepared by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of
    Canada. May, 2006





For further information:

For further information: or to speak to a physician expert or patient in
Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal or Halifax, please contact:
Whitney Binns or Carolyn Santillan, Edelman, Tel: (416) 979-1120, ext. 257,
351, whitney.binns@edelman.com, carolyn.santillan@edelman.com; Alexandra
Menear, Edelman (Montreal), Tel: (514) 844-6665, ext. 226,
alexandra.menear@edelman.com; Christian Marcoux, Manager, Corporate
Communications, Pfizer Canada Inc., Tel: (514) 426-6985,
christian.marcoux@pfizer.com; Lawrence Wang, Coordinator, Client Services,
Karyo Edelman, (604) 623-3007 ext 294, lawrence.wang@karyo-edelman.com; Karen
Fantin (Alberta), (403) 241-3956, k.fantin@shaw.ca; Andrea Anderson (Halifax),
(902) 479-0947, andrea.anderson@ns.sympatico.ca

Organization Profile

Ottawa Heart Institute, University of Ottawa

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Montreal Heart Institute

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