MONTRÉAL, Oct. 24, 2016 /CNW/ - A special focus on new research investigating the link between physical activity and prevention. Investigating the unique aspects of pregnancy and heart disease.
More than 3,500 cardiovascular experts, including cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, researchers, nurses and other cardiovascular specialists from across Canada and around the globe meet again today for the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC). CCC is the most essential networking event of the year and the best opportunity to stay up-to-date on the latest Canadian research, policy and practice in the field.
"This year's Congress is an interactive, lively, hands-on learning and networking experience," says Dr. Michelle Graham, 2016 scientific programme chair. "While CCC has always been highly regarded as a premium quality scientific and educational experience, I am happy to see us move away from a formal tone toward one that is dynamic, connected and even more impactful."
Monday, October 24 Conference Highlights:
Pregnancy and maternal health: Investigating the unique aspects of pregnancy and heart disease. Events that happen during development - prenatal (in utero), infancy, and childhood - can influence risk for cardiovascular disease as an adult. Experts look at issues ranging from: the developmental determinants of heart disease, complications of congenital heart disease in pregnancy; the influence of physical activity during pregnancy on a newborn's brain; what to do when a fetus has been diagnosed with heart disease; the impact of gestational diabetes on the cardiovascular health of the child; how preterm birth places an individual at risk for cardiovascular disease as an adult; and non-congenital cardiovascular disease in children.
Yoga for the heart and soul: Science confirms what the great gurus have been telling us for centuries: Yoga does your heart good. Participants in an Ontario prevention study investigating the impact of restorative yoga - with its deep breathing, meditation, calming effects, and stretching exercises - saw positive changes in both their blood pressure and heart rate levels. They had significantly reduced rates of systolic blood pressure compared to the control groups; reductions of 19.5% directly after the yoga class and of 9.5% four hours later. Similar reductions were found for diastolic blood pressure and heart rate.
How does this help reduce risk of heart disease? The INTERHEART and INTERSTROKE studies found that stress is the one of the modifiable risk factors that account for 90% of first heart attacks and strokes. This may be because stress is linked to high blood pressure - a condition which affects five million Canadians, and is the number one cause of stroke and a leading cause of heart disease. (Ashok Pandey, Cambridge ON)
The link between depression and mortality in older patients undergoing valve-replacement: Depression prior to a cardiovascular event is associated with worse long-term outcomes. This Montreal study finds that depression is a predictor of six-month and one-year mortality in older adults undergoing surgical (SAVR) or transcatheter (TAVR) aortic valve replacement. It is also a predictor in one-month major adverse cardiac events (including cardiac arrests and heart attacks). Researchers found that patients with depressive symptoms had lower appetite, greater weight loss, greater physical frailty, and greater anemia than patients without depressive symptoms. Researchers say reasons can include platelet abnormalities, endothelial dysfunction, and inflammation - and is an important reminder for clinicians to screen for, treat, and monitor depression in patients. For a patient experiencing depression, medication and counselling can be an important aspect of their care and recovery, and may improve post-operative outcomes. (Laura Drudi, Montreal QC)
Physical Activity can be a lifesaver – literally! More than 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates said, "Walking is a man's best medicine." And today it's no secret that physical activity can help us maintain a healthy body weight, promote psychological well-being, and reduce the risk of a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease and stroke. But what about people who have already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease? Can an improved physical fitness level reduce their risk factors for further heart disease?
To find out if Hippocrates' theory could also be applied to this group, a team of four scientists in University of Paris Nanterre (France) and University of Montreal (Canada), studied 249 men and women with existing coronary artery disease. Their goal? To gain insights into the role of physical fitness in reducing secondary heart disease risk factors, including abdominal circumference, depression, diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity, overweight and smoking.
After putting their subjects through exercise stress tests on ergocycles, the team has good news for people with heart disease and great motivation for them to increase their activity levels (but only after checking with their physicians): small improvements are sufficient to induce a preventive action for most risk factors. The health benefits and protection of physical activity extend to patients with established heart disease, the benefit increasing proportionally to the patient's level of physical fitness. Thus, there is no need to be an athlete to enjoy these benefits, being an "ordinary people" is enough. (Maxime Caru, Montreal, QC)
White Coat Hypertension: Is it really benign? White coat hypertension (WCH), more commonly known as white coat syndrome, is a phenomenon in which patients in clinical settings have blood pressure readings above the normal range. Typically, these patients have been reassured by their healthcare providers that the phenomenon is simply a result of their heightened anxiety levels during a visit to a medical facility or doctor's office.
Questioning if WCH is actually benign and not a cause for concern, investigators in Kingston, Ontario set out to test the long-held hypothesis by following up with patients diagnosed with WCH using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). An ABPM device consists of a blood pressure cuff that is worn on the arm and attached to a recording device. Patients wear the device for 24 or 48 hours, providing doctors with a complete record of the patient's blood pressure readings for a one or two-day period.
A significant number of patients initially labelled as WCH who were referred for ABPM were subsequently diagnosed with high blood pressure. While investigators say that their results represent a relatively small percentage of patients with an initial ABPM diagnosis, they nonetheless inject a cautionary note that their results do point to WCH not being as benign as previously thought. The next phase of this research will include expanding the data and patient follow-ups..Dr. Matangi says there is clearly a selection bias at the moment, as only those suspected of developing hypertension were referred back for a second or third 24hr ABPM by their family doctor. What is evident, he says, is that just over half of the patients referred back for a second or third 24hr ABPM are diagnosed with high blood pressure. (Murray Matangi, Kingston ON)
Looking in from outside: One of the world's most cited researchers and president of the World Heart Federation, Dr. Salim Yusuf's large-scale international studies have substantially influenced cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment. In this year's Wilfred Bigelow Lecture, Dr. Yusuf gives a cardiologist's perspective of cardiac intervention and surgery research trials. (Salim Yusuf, Hamilton, ON)
Text reminders a simple, affordable tool to keep patients on track with cardiac rehab: Heart attack patients with lower levels of education have higher rates non-adherence to prescribed exercise and medications. Is there a simple way to help keep them on track with their recovery? This study finds that receiving repeated reminders, including daily text messages, improved medication adherence by 23% and the duration of exercise by 372 minutes per month in the patients with less education (less than 12 years) - showing significantly more improvements than patients with higher levels of education. (Avinash Pandey, London ON)
The Canadian Cardiovascular Society cholesterol guidelines: High blood cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for heart disease and stroke. As your blood cholesterol rises, so does your risk of heart disease. The new CCS evidence-based guidance for clinicians emphasizes the importance of shared decision-making between physician and patient. The recommendations include guidance for cardiologists and other clinicians about which patients will benefit from statin therapy. There is also new information on the use of health behaviour modifications and non-statin medications to help doctors make the difficult decisions about when to use drugs to lower cholesterol and when other approaches are possible. The panel has strengthened its previous lifestyle advice, including advice related to smoking cessation and healthy eating. (Todd Anderson, Calgary AB)
Heart disease is a leading cause of hospitalization and the second leading cause of death in Canada. Both heart disease and stroke are the biggest driver of prescription drug use and a leading cause of disability, costing the Canadian economy more than $20.9 billion every year. Millions of Canadians are at risk.
Mary Lewis, VP research, advocacy and health promotion, Heart and Stroke Foundation, notes, "Meetings like CCC are a unique opportunity for cardiovascular experts at all stages of their careers to come together and share knowledge and educational programming. Participants will return to their practices and laboratories with tools and new knowledge that will have a direct impact on the health of Canadians."
CCC 2016 will see leading researchers present close to 400 studies, along with 37 workshops, plenary sessions, lectures and much more. By attending, participants will familiarize themselves with exemplary collaborative clinical and research initiatives and engage in discussions and debate about cardiovascular health and healthcare innovations.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER:
- Heart disease is a leading cause of hospitalization and the second leading cause of death in Canada
- Every seven minutes a Canadian dies from heart disease or stroke
- Heart disease is a leading cause of disability, impacting millions of Canadians and their families
- There are 1.3 million Canadians living with heart disease
- This year in Canada, there will be an estimated
- 70,000 heart attacks
- 40,000 cardiac arrests
- Nine in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke – that is more than 24 million Canadians
- Millions of Canadians are at risk
The Canadian Cardiovascular Congress brings together over 3,500 heart health experts to exchange ideas and present the latest breaking research. It is being held in Montreal from October 22 to 25. #CCCMTL
Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CCS policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.
The Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, the largest gathering of cardiovascular and allied health professionals in Canada, is co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.
The Canadian Cardiovascular Society is the national voice for cardiovascular physicians and scientists. Its mission is to promote cardiovascular health and care through knowledge translation, professional development, and leadership in health policy.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation,a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke, reducing their impact through initiatives to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery. Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen.
SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation
For further information: For media interviews, please contact: Diane Hargrave, [email protected], 416-467-9954, ext. 104; After October 26, 2016, contact: Jane-Diane Fraser, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, [email protected], (613) 691-4020, Cell from Oct 21 to 25: 613-406-3282