Collective action needed to reduce the growing burden of vascular
MONTREAL, Oct. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Ninety per cent of Canadians are facing
an unacceptable risk of developing vascular disease and we have to act
now to reduce its increasing burden, say leading health experts at the
Vascular 2013 Congress in Montreal this week.
To galvanize action, leading Canadian experts working in the field of
vascular health have signed and committed to a Vascular Declaration, a
collective approach to reducing vascular disease in Canada.
"This Declaration calls for urgent action and outlines a comprehensive
approach that can vastly decrease the impact of vascular disease on
Canadians," says Dr. Duncan Stewart, the scientific chair of Vascular
2013. "The health sector cannot solve this problem alone."
Vascular diseases are a result of disorders in the blood vessels (large
and small) throughout the entire human body. Diabetes, stroke,
hypertension, heart disease, dementia, kidney diseases, certain lung
and eye conditions are all vascular diseases.
Five unhealthy behaviors - unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of physical
activity, excess alcohol intake and stress - are well-established risks
for more than 50 diseases including these.
The declaration, called Making the Connection: A Call to Action on Vascular Health, calls for an integrated, multifaceted approach to address the
prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and end-of-life care for people
with vascular disease.
It is a landmark approach to an urgent and debilitating health issue.
"We need to form a united front against this massive challenge to our
society and economy," says Dr. Stewart, a practicing cardiologist who
is also the CEO and scientific director of the Ottawa Hospital Research
Institute, vice-president of research at The Ottawa Hospital and
professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. "Direct action is
required at all levels to achieve meaningful impact on vascular
The Declaration calls on sectors across Canada to unite and take action
To all Canadians:
Make your health a priority. Adopt healthy behaviors. Advocate for
healthy communities. Work with your health care provider to modify your
To health care practitioners:
Maximize inter-professional collaboration to comprehensively manage
vascular risk and prevention. Keep up-to-date on, and follow best care
practices. Collaborate with other sectors to advocate for and address
legislative, social and built environment factors that impact
To federal, provincial and municipal governments:
Commit to sustained action on vascular health by implementing effective public
policies and regulations that foster healthy food, physical activity
and smoke-free environments. Be inclusive of the needs, interests and
abilities of specific populations within their local contexts and
settings. Monitor the impact of public policies and regulations on
health, economic productivity and chronic care costs.
To researchers and academia:
Develop approaches to address evidence gaps on vascular health issues.
Foster the integration of knowledge across sectors, disciplines and
conditions to impact vascular health through advocacy, programs and
For not-for-profit organizations:
Maximize impact through joint action. Align messaging and resources for the public on vascular risk and chronic
disease management. Build partnerships for action on vascular health,
advocate for healthy public policies and translate knowledge on
vascular health into programs that improve the health of Canadians
For the private sector:
Ensure a healthier and more productive workforce through implementation
of healthy workplace policies and programs. Build intersectoral
partnerships to advocate for healthy public policies. Partner with the
health system to support prevention and screening.
"By working together, we can leverage skills, innovations and knowledge
to collaboratively act to reduce the burden of vascular disease in
Canada," says Dr. Stewart.
Vascular diseases are the leading cause of preventable death and
disability in Canada. Twenty four million Canadians have at least one
risk factor for vascular disease and 10 million have three or more.
Canada's aging population, combined with alarming trends in obesity,
physical inactivity, high blood pressure and diabetes are expected to
further increase the social and economic impact of vascular diseases in
the coming decades, unless there are major changes in health policy.
"Risk factors for vascular disease can be managed by lifestyle
behaviors," says Dr. Duncan. "For example, lifestyle changes and
prevention or treatment of chronic conditions such as high blood
pressure can prevent an estimated 54 per cent of Alzheimer's cases in
Even more concerning is the increase in vascular risk factors among
Canada's youth, and ethnically diverse populations.
Also alarming is the fact that between 1994 and 2005, rates of high
blood pressure among Canadians aged 35-49 increased by 127 per cent,
diabetes by 64 per cent and obesity by 20 per cent.
The declaration was created by health experts representing the Canadian
Diabetes Association, Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism,
Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Canadian Stroke Network, Heart and
Stroke Foundation of Canada, and Hypertension Canada.
Vascular 2013 is a one-time national congress for knowledge exchange and community
building in vascular health, bringing together experts from multiple
sectors and health disciplines to focus on and expand our understanding
of vascular disease prevention and management.
To read Making the Connection: A Call to Action on Vascular Health, go to:
SOURCE: Heart and Stroke Foundation
For further information:
Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Vascular 2013 host organizations' policy or position. They make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.
Vascular 2013 is a unique, one-time Canadian event bringing four separate scientific meetings together under one roof: the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, the Canadian Diabetes Association/Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism Professional Conference, the Canadian Stroke Congress and the Canadian Hypertension Congress. www.vascular2013.ca
It is a joint initiative of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Canadian Diabetes Association/Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the Canadian Stroke Network, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Hypertension Canada.
For more information and/or interviews, contact the
VASCULAR 2013 MEDIA OFFICE AT 514-789-3402 (Oct 17-20)
Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations
Christian Ahuet, Consultant
514-842-2455, ext. 29 / Cell. 514-994-7496
Congress information and media registration is at www.vascular2013.ca
After October 20, 2013 contact:
Heart and Stroke Foundation