Heart health the focus of February

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta marks ‘Heart Month’

Staff with the local office of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta are stepping up awareness on issues surrounding heart health throughout February.

Heart Month is a national campaign that mobilizes Canadians to raise awareness and funds that have an impact on the lives of not just heart and stroke patients, but all Canadians.

“Currently, we have 1,100 canvassers working across Central Alberta for the month of February,” said Michelle Sluchinski, area manager for the Foundation’s Red Deer office.

“They really become the faces of the Foundation to those donors, so it’s a great way to reach a lot of people.” The canvassers also provide folks with educational material about maintaining health health.

Sluchinski said the goal is to raise $110,000 within Central Alberta this month for the Foundation, and $1.6 million across the province. Funds support research, health promotion and health education.

There are several other events being held locally during Heart Month, including an open house at Victoria Park on Feb. 19. Sluchinski will be giving a heart health presentation at 3 p.m.

Folks can also visit the Parkland Mall through to Feb. 14
and purchase a red paper heart for $2 from customer service in Red Deer’s Parkland Mall to win prizes. The draw will be made Feb. 15.

Also through February, Red Deer and Lacombe Co-ops grocery, liquor, home centre and gas bar locations have donation boxes at the tills with proceeds going to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

According to recent Foundation poll, Canadians tend to overestimate their own healthy behaviours. Almost 90% of Canadians rate themselves as healthy but the reality is that nine out of 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

For example, only about a third said they are not physically active or don’t eat a minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruit per day. The reality is about half of Canadians don’t meet the physical activity and healthy eating recommendations.

Also, 18 % of Canadian adults say they are obese. The reality is that almost one quarter of Canadian adults are obese.

“Canadians know what to do to live healthier, longer lives. But there’s a huge disconnect between what we think we are doing to address our risk factors and reality,”

said Dr. Beth Abramson, cardiologist and spokesperson for the Foundation.

“The fact is that we’re not managing some of the most common and deadly cardiovascular risk factors as well as we think we are. We Canadians are living with a false sense of security that could be fatal.”

Heart disease is a group of conditions affecting the structure and functions of the heart and has many root causes. Coronary artery disease, for example, develops when a combination of fatty materials, calcium and scar tissue (called plaque) builds up in the arteries that supply blood to your heart (coronary arteries).

A person’s best defense is controlling the risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and being overweight.

There are also a number of heart attack warning signs including sudden discomfort or pain that does not go away with rest, pain that may be in the chest, neck, jaw, shoulder, arms or back; and pain that may feel like burning, squeezing, heaviness, tightness or pressure. In women, the pain may be more vague.

Other possible signs of heart attack are shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, sweating, and cool, clammy skin.

For more information, check out www.heartandstroke.ab.ca.

mweber@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Over 10,000 lbs of pet food given out to help Red Deer’s vulnerable

Alberta Animal Services and Red Deer Food Bank’s Kitchen Kibble will feed hundreds

Local coalition seeks to bolster youngsters’ development

‘Strengthening Positive Assets Resiliency in Communities’ supports local families

Central Alberta Humane Society presents cat yoga

Proceeds will be used to care for the shelter animals

Innisfail RCMP respond to fatal vehicle collision

A 22-year-old driver was ejected and pronounced deceased on scene

Central Alberta Buccaneers pillage Vandals 64-19

Bucs’ notch second win of the season convincingly

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

National sports organizations have to report allegations of abuse immediately

Sporting organizations will lose federal funding if abuse goes unreported, says Kirsty Duncan

Former Somali child refugee fights to stay in Canada

Former child refugee Abdoul Abdi’s judicial review set for today in Halifax

U.S. border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Several Republicans to break from President Donald Trump amid boarder separation issues

AFN chief accused of being too close to Trudeau

Perry Bellegarde insists he is not that close to the Liberals as elections looms

Three injured after industrial explosion in Newfoundland

The roof of the warehouse was blown off in the explosion near St. John’s

Most Read