Healthy Heart Clinics Offer Critical Screening to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease: Leading Cause of Death in Canada
Nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke
Despite the fact that almost 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through healthy behaviors, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women and the second leading cause of death among men in Canada. Research shows that nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
As part of Heart Month in Canada, London Drugs is encouraging Canadians to take preventative action by attending a Healthy Heart Clinic running February 6th to March 23rd at 68 London Drugs locations.
Many Canadians miss the signs of heart disease that often precede a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. Prevention ultimately starts with knowing your risks as there are often no symptoms until the underlying disease has progressed.
London Drugs’ Healthy Heart Clinics involve a one-on-one 45 minute screening and evaluation with a Patient Care Pharmacist. They take a measurement of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, random glucose and blood pressure and assess risk factors such as family history, age, level of exercise, diet, smoking history and high blood pressure. Next they focus on minimizing these risks. This might include a discussion of changes to diet, fitness routines or lifestyle. Habits like eating healthy, being active and living smoke-free, have a big impact on health. The appointment is collaborative and customized for each patient and pharmacists can contact physicians to recommend further medical intervention or changes to medication.
For more information about London Drugs’ Healthy Heart Clinics or to book a clinic appointment visit: http://www.londondrugs.com/healthyheart
A complete list of clinic dates, times and locations can be found here: https://pharmacy.londondrugs.com/pdf/Heart_Health_Clinics_2017.pdf
 Public Health Agency of Canada
Attend our Healthy Heart Clinic* and during a one-on-one consultation, our Patient Care Pharmacists will assess your likelihood of developing heart disease, discuss factors that put you at risk and advise how to minimize this risk.
Visit londondrugs.com/healthyheart for more information.
*A finger prick blood sample will be necessary. A small fee applies for this service, for which a tax deductible receipt will be issued.
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. It contributes to the buildup of plaque in your arteries, increases the risk of blood clots, reduces the oxygen in your blood, increases your blood pressure and forces your heart to work harder. When combined with other risk factors—including elevated blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and overweight/obesity—smoking further increases your risk of heart disease and/or stroke.
In honour of September 29 being World Heart Day, I would like to point out that this is an era in which so many conditions and health problems are vying for your attention – not to mention your dollars, as well –and in that constant barrage of news and press releases about different illnesses, heart disease often seems to get shifted aside or ignored, at least in terms of media attention.
But despite that seeming neglect, heart disease (and strokes) remains the main killer of Canadians, and it deserves more of your attention than it may be getting, mostly because to a very large extent, heart disease is so preventable.
Spring is a wonderful time to get active under the sun. The benefits of physical activity are innumerable, but a major benefit is heart protection. For those already diagnosed with a heart condition, taking steps to prevent progression of the illness is critically important. But I would argue for the otherwise healthy it is just as, if not more, important to maintain habits for a healthy heart to prevent illness completely.
Everyone knows that I’m sure the death rate from heart attacks and strokes rises dramatically in the winter time in Canada.
And in a climate like ours, the obvious reason is that cold can have untoward effects on our health and also that when it snows, so many of us out-of-shape people do our own driveway and walkway shovelling. That hard, sudden effort in the cold heavily taxes our cardiovascular system (which, by the way, is why I always ask my wife to shovel any snow that hits our house).
But there has to be way more to it than simple cold air mal-adjustments because a recent study that compared winter heart attack rates in Pennsylvania, California, and Arizona found a similar rise in all areas, that is, heart attack rates went up pretty similarly in winter in both warm and cold weather areas of the continent.
Well, it could have to do with hormonal changes from the shorter daylight hours, it could be depressive symptoms from the same change in daylight, it could just be that we eat more poorly and exercise less in the winter, even if we live in a warmer climate.
Bottom line is simple, though: you have to be particularly vigilant during the winter to minimize your other risks for heart attacks and strokes, in other words, do your exercise. Today.
The reason I think that it’s very important for me to keep mentioning Type 2 diabetes over and over again (as I tend to do in these items and on TV) is that Type 2 diabetes is most often a chronic, severe, progressive (you might even say relentless) condition that’s hard for a person to know they have (since the symptoms in the early stage are either nil or innocuous), and yet, from the time it starts with some disruption in insulin sensitivity (before it can even be detected via blood tests) diabetes is damaging both the large and small arteries in the body, a “killing” effect that gets worse the longer a person suffers with abnormal insulin sensitivity and abnormal blood sugar levels.