Canadians Overestimating Their Efforts to Live a Healthy Lifestyle and Majority Are Mistaken About Their Risk of Hypertension
21 Feb, 2012, 07:00 ET
Hypertension Canada urges all Canadians to understand blood pressure risk factors and START fighting Hypertension
TORONTO, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - You've heard it a million times: adopting healthy lifestyle choices not only help you live a longer, healthier life, but can also reduce your risk of developing chronic illness. But a new survey from Hypertension Canada, conducted by Leger Marketing, shows that although Canadian boomers are well-aware that they need to be more health-conscious, they are still significantly off target when it comes to meeting guidelines to prevent hypertension and manage their heart health.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known as Canada's 'silent killer' because there may be no signs or symptoms, yet uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart disease or stroke. Although Canadians 55 - 65 years of age have a 90 per cent risk of developing hypertension in their lifetime1, it is out of sight, out of mind for many - only six per cent of those surveyed were aware that the risk was this great2.
In fact, the survey demonstrates Canadians think they're being heart healthy by increasing their workout regime or cutting back on fast food or salt, but many are not doing nearly enough to keep their blood pressure on target.3 For example half of Canadians don't actually know what a healthy level of sodium intake is on a daily basis for someone their age4.
"In my 30 years of family medicine, I've had to tell many patients the bad news that they have hypertension," says Dr. Joseph Kozak, a general practitioner based in Toronto. "But when we go through their habits and lifestyle, it becomes apparent they're just not doing enough in terms of diet and exercise. We need to be honest with ourselves and make real changes that will result in real risk reduction."
"Canada is a world leader in hypertension control, building on that success we must now move the meter on prevention of this serious condition," says Dr. Sheldon Tobe from Hypertension Canada. "Lifestyle changes can make a big impact - they can reduce your risk of developing hypertension and if you already have high blood pressure they can help keep it under control."
Interview opportunity week of February 21st:
Speak with Toronto physician Dr. Joseph Kozak or Dr. Sheldon Tobe from Hypertension Canada about how Canadians can START fighting hypertension. Find out:
- The five steps Hypertension Canada is recommending to help reduce your risk
- The lifestyle changes Canadians are making and how they could be overestimating their impact
- When it comes to the big three - sodium intake, healthy eating, and exercise - where are we most missing the mark?
Also, speak with Toronto-resident Sharon Brett, a hypertensive patient and busy, active professional, about her special reason for maintaining control of her hypertension and what she's done to control the condition.
Hypertension Canada is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that publishes the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP) guidelines for health professionals.
The new 2012 CHEP Recommendations are now available at www.hypertension.ca/chep-recommendations
1 Vasan, R. S. Residual Lifetime Risk for Developing Hypertension in Middle-aged Women and Men. The Framingham Heart Study. JAMA. 2002;287:1003-1010
2 Leger Hypertension Canada Poll, Page 68, September 15, 2011
3 Leger Hypertension Canada Poll, Page 19, 23, and 25, September 15, 2011
4 Leger Hypertension Canada Poll, Page 37, September 15, 2011
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