Sunday's highlights from the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress - The Heart of the Matter: The latest in heart health research discoveries and innovations

MONTRÉAL, Oct. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - Hot topics and news you can use! Exploring exciting new concepts and perspectives in cardiology. Solving complex challenges in cardiovascular disease. Networking, learning and showcasing the latest in research innovations.

More than 3,500 cardiovascular experts from across Canada and around the world are in Montréal today for the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC), the largest gathering of cardiovascular and allied health professionals in Canada and the most essential networking event of the year.

CCC 2016 will see leading researchers, present close to 400 research studies, along with 37 interactive workshops, plenary sessions, case studies, accredited symposia, featured lectures, and more. But in keeping with the emphasis on informality, participants will also participate in aerobics, join networking tables, enter competitions and enjoy plenty of interaction.

"This year we are excited to present some dynamic changes and new programming at Congress. In short, this year's meeting is about evolution and revolution, which will enhance the delegate experience," says Dr. Michelle Graham, 2016 scientific programme chair. 

Sunday, October 23 Conference Highlights:

Can preventing the flu prevent heart disease? October is when people's thoughts turn to sweaters, turkey…and the flu. Most everyone should get a flu shot – besides making you feel terrible, complications associated with influenza include a 2-fold increased risk of heart attack in those with cardiovascular disease.

This systematic review supports that influenza vaccinations are especially important to prevent secondary cardiovascular events in people with cardiovascular disease. Two meta-analyses (combined results of studies) found that the influenza vaccine, compared to control, reduced both cardiovascular death and major adverse cardiovascular events by approximately 50%. Researchers note that these results are limited by small study sizes and low rates of cardiovascular events, as well as differences in practices compared to Canada.

The bottom line? The flu shot may help to prevent further cardiovascular events in patients with pre-existing disease, with the best protection for those with a recent event (like a heart attack). Most of us should get a flu shot – and if you've had a heart attack or stroke or if you have heart disease, it's especially important. (Marlys LeBras & Arden Barry, Vancouver BC)


The Great Stethoscope Debate: This year marks the 200th anniversary of the invention of the one of medicine's most recognized tools. Are stethoscope exams still the tried-and-true for medical exams – or are novel new technologies the wave of the future? Leading experts debate. Rumor has it that René Laennec, inventor of the stethoscope, is returning from the spirit world for a ghostly last-word on the topic. (Lyall Higginson and Ken Gin represent Team "Tried and True"; Chi-Ming Chow and Michael Barret rebut as Team "Out with the Old and In with the New." Moderated by Dr. John Finley & Donald Palisaitis)


Closing the gap in Indigenous health in Canada: In this "CCC newsroom" session, Indigenous experts look at the state of the heart health of Indigenous people in Canada, from a social/economic determinants approach and from a medical model perspective ─ and investigate possible new directions and approaches.

Does the medical approach to heart health work with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people and communities? What does a social & economic determinants model look like? What are the specific challenges and impacts in these approaches? Why is there so much emphasis on Indigenous Health? What does the future prevention and treatment look like for Indigenous peoples – where do we go for more direction and understanding?  (Jeff Reading, First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness at St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver BC)


My Heart Attack: Award- winning animator Sheldon Cohen shares his heart attack story in this short NFB film, being shown at the Congress. Narrated by Cohen, this unbelievable yet completely true story is a light-hearted look at the experience of a "nice Jewish boy with Buddhist tendencies" who should have been the last person in the world to need open heart surgery. A tender, moving tale, the film serves as a reminder that while the heart, with all its valves and arteries, is a marvelous machine, it still runs on emotion. Both Mr. Cohen and producer Jelena Popovic are available for interviews. (Sheldon Cohen, Montreal QC)


Recommendations to keep your heart pumping: To maintain heart health, a little physical activity can go a long way. How much physical activity do you need? Canadian guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity per week. Is this the appropriate amount to support good health? Canadian experts go head-to-head to answer the question and settle the score. (Simon Bacon, Montreal QC & Darren Warburton, Vancouver BC)


Celebrating outstanding achievements: Nominated by peers, the 2016 Canadian Cardiovascular Society Awards recognize exceptional contributions to the field of cardiology. This year's recipients include:

  • Research Achievement Award: Dr. Jean-Pierre Després
  • Annual Achievement Award: Dr. Robert Sheldon
  • Dr. Harold N. Segall Award of Merit: Dr. Sonia Anand
  • Dr. Robert E. Beamish Award: Dr. Laura M. Kuyper


Healthcare reform: Trying to get things right! The Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the American College of Cardiology's joint symposium explores ideas ranging from leveraging large clinical trials, creating tools that can be applied to patients to engage them in shared decision-making, and the Choosing Wisely Canada campaign. (John Spertus, Frederick Masoudi, Sacha Bhatia, Pam Ramsey)


Every seven minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke. Over 1.3 million survivors − and their families and caregivers − are living with the devastating after effects of heart disease.

"The learnings and connections made at CCC will lead to changes in medical practice and ultimately save lives," said Mary Lewis, VP research, advocacy and health promotion, Heart and Stroke Foundation. "Heart & Stroke plays a critical role in advancing and acting on research discoveries like those we will hear about over the next few days, discoveries that can link to health policy and deliver evidence-based health information to Canadians and their healthcare providers."


  • 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,, 416-467-9954, ext. 104; After October 26, 2016, contact: Jane-Diane Fraser, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada,, (613) 691-4020, Cell from Oct 21 to 25: 613-406-3282


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