Heart Disease: Facts and Prevention

In honour of February being Heart Month, Brant Arts I.D.A. encourages all of our customers to take some time to review facts and prevention tips for heart health. Although heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, it can be prevented by practising heart disease prevention.

What is Heart Disease?

Heart Disease includes various conditions that affect the structure or function of the heart. These include: heart attack, coronary artery disease, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), heart failure, heart valve disease, congenital heart disease, heart muscle disease, pericardial disease, aorta disease and vascular disease.

Nine out of ten Canadians have at least one of the risk factors for getting heart disease. Although some of the risk factors can be controlled, others cannot, such as age and sex. As we age, the risk of getting heart disease increases. Also, sex plays a part: heart disease more greatly affects men over the age of 45 and woman over the age of 55. If you have a close relative who had heart disease at an early age, or pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, you are also at greater risk of getting it yourself. In addition, people with Indigenous heritage (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) as well as people of African or South Asian background have a higher risk of getting heart disease.

Reduce Your Chances of Getting Heart Disease!

Fortunately, a lot of the factors that contribute to heart disease can be controlled by you. Practice heart health by following the tips below:

  • Get regular health screenings to test for diabetes and to understand your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Keep them under control.
  • Exercise regularly. Getting regular, daily exercise (about 30 minutes on most days of the week) can reduce your risk of heart disease. Combining exercising with other healthy lifestyle measures increases your chances even more!
  • Don't smoke or use tobacco as this is one of the biggest risk factors for developing heart disease.  If you need help quitting smoking, Brant Arts can help.
  • Eat a healthy diet, comprised of a lot of fruits, vegetables and grains. Try to avoid a lot of salt and sugar and limit saturated and trans fats.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, because carrying excess weight around your middle can increase your risk of heart disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are all conditions that excess weight can lead to, which can then increase your chances of heart disease.
  • Get enough sleep! Sleep deprivation leads to a higher chance of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.
  • Manage stress levels effectively, such as with physical activity or meditation – instead of overeating, drinking or smoking.

Brant Arts in Burlington is here to Help!

If you know you have heart disease, it’s extra important for you to lead a healthy, active life. However, everyone should practice good heart health and take care of themselves by following the tips above. Remember, to help you with any questions regarding heart disease and prevention tips, the professional team at Brant Arts I.D.A. are ready to assist you!