Canadians say heart disease is a wake-up call, but struggle to follow
through: Survey

Canadian patients nearly three times as likely as surveyed European patients to stop following diet and exercise recommendations because they were "getting better"(1)

TORONTO, April 20 /CNW/ - Results of the Your Heart: New Start international survey conducted by GfK Roper revealed that Canadians who have had a heart attack or other cardiac event often lag behind their counterparts in other countries when it comes to adopting heart-healthy lifestyle changes. The Your Heart: New Start international survey and subsequent patient-focused program was developed by a partnership between the World Heart Federation, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. and Eli Lilly & Company.

The Your Heart: New Start survey shows that Canadian patients were nearly three times as likely as patients surveyed in European countries to stop following their doctor's diet or exercise recommendations because they were feeling better (20 per cent vs. 7 per cent).(1) In addition, more than one in five patients in Canada (21 per cent) frequently missed taking their antiplatelet medication to prevent blood clots - the highest proportion among the countries surveyed.(1) The survey was conducted among more than 3,000 heart event survivors in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and the UK.(1)

Knowledge alone is not enough

In Canada, seven out of 10 patients surveyed said that being diagnosed with heart disease was a wake-up call to live a healthier lifestyle.(2) In addition, 95 per cent of patients surveyed who felt they had been given a second chance in life, considered their heart event as an opportunity to treat their body with more respect.(2) Despite this positive news, more than half of Canadian patients (52 per cent) said that although they know what they should be doing to take care of their health, they have trouble following through with it.(2)

"These survey results reveal a major disconnect among Canadians, between knowing how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, and actually following through with it," said Dr. Milan Gupta, staff cardiologist at the William Osler Health Centre in Brampton, Ontario and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. "Patients who have had a heart attack are at an increased risk of having a second cardiac event. This makes it extremely important for patients to follow their physician's instructions, including implementing lifestyle changes and taking their medication as directed, to help ensure that a second event doesn't happen."

To help Canadians and patients around the world affected by ACS gain the knowledge they need, the World Heart Federation is also supporting a new patient-focused program, called Your Heart: New Start. The program is aimed at helping healthcare providers and heart patients work together to better manage heart health by providing patients and their loved ones with information about fitness, nutrition and medication adherence.

The cost of heart disease in Canada

In Canada, acute coronary syndromes, which include heart attacks and other cardiac events such as unstable angina, represent a growing health concern with staggering human and economic costs. There are an estimated 70,000 heart attacks in Canada each year, resulting in 17,000 deaths.(3) Cardiovascular disease, which includes acute coronary syndromes, costs the Canadian economy $22 billion every year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity.(3) And, with one in five adults 50 to 64 years of age having two or more of the major risk factors for heart disease,(4) numbers will likely continue to grow.

"Acute coronary syndromes are a serious health concern in Canada, and as the baby boomer population ages, they will continue to have a significant impact on our population for years to come," says Dr. Gupta. "These survey results indicate a clear need for more education, not only about the risk factors and management of acute coronary syndromes, but also about the tools and resources available to help patients adhere to their treatment plans."

    Additional Canadian Survey Findings

    -  More than seven out of 10 patients (71 per cent) surveyed felt that
       that they had been given a second chance in life.(2)

    -  The majority of patients surveyed would find it very helpful to have
       more information on:
         -  ways to prevent a heart attack (72 per cent)(2)
         -  ways to reduce stress (66 per cent)(2)
         -  why they were prescribed particular heart medications
            (69 per cent)(2)
         -  how the medications actually work (65 per cent)(2)

    -  Patients who followed their treatment plans felt more determined
       (85 per cent), optimistic (85 per cent) fortunate (84 per cent) and
       safe (74 per cent)(2) than those who were faltering. Patients
       faltering in their follow through of treatment plans were more likely
       to feel anxious (40 per cent), depressed (39 per cent) pessimistic
       (40 per cent), scared (29 per cent), isolated (36 per cent) and angry
       (17 per cent).(2)

About the Survey

The Your Heart: New Start international survey and subsequent patient-focused program was developed by a partnership between the World Heart Federation, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. and Eli Lilly & Company. Support was provided by Daiichi Sankyo Co,. Ltd. and Eli Lilly & Company. The survey was conducted by GfK Roper in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and the UK among nationally representative samples of adults aged 40 and older who suffered from heart attack or other serious heart conditions, such as angina. A total of 3,011 patients were sampled. The survey was completed in December 2008. The sampling error, at the 95 per cent confidence level, for results based on the total is +/- 3.4 percentage points. The sampling error is higher for analysis on subgroups.

About the World Heart Federation

The World Heart Federation, is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. It leads the global fight against heart disease and stroke via a united community of 200 member organizations that brings together the strength of medical societies and heart foundations, from more than 100 countries. This includes the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Through our collective efforts, we help people all over the world to lead longer, better, heart healthy lives. For further information visit:

About Lilly

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Lilly provides answers - through medicines and information - for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Eli Lilly Canada, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, employs more than 500 people across the country. Additional information about Eli Lilly Canada can be found at


    1. Your Heart: New Start. International Survey of Heart Patients Data
       Table, GfK Roper. December 2008.
    2. Your Heart: New Start. International Survey of Heart Patients, GfK
       Roper. Survey Results - Canada. March 2009.
    3. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Risk Factors you can't control.
       Accessed August 17, 2009.
    4. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. A Perfect Storm of Heart
       Disease Looming on Our Horizon. January 25, 2010.

SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company

For further information: For further information: Jennifer Gordon, Eli Lilly Canada Inc., (416) 693-3571; Laura Grice, MS&L, (416) 847-1319

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