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Avoid Heart Problems

posted on 1:09 PM, July 31, 2012

According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, a Canadian has a heart attack every 7 minutes or a stroke every 10 minutes.  Someone dies of either one every 7 minutes!  90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart attack/stroke.  Many of these risk factors can be avoided (smoking, alcohol intake, physical inactivity) or managed (blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes).  It's up to you to decide which statistic you want to be.

If you have a brother/sister who has had a stroke, you have a 60% higher risk of having a stroke yourself.  And, if that stroke occurred before the age 55, your risk goes up to 94%.  Although there is a strong genetic link in heart disease, nothing is written in stone and there are other risk factors to consider.  So, if you've had a sibling with a stroke, use it as your incentive to get a handle on what you can change for the better.

It is already known that diets high in sugars/carbohydrates increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but now a study is specifically fingering "added" sugars (i.e.  those not occurring naturally in our foods) as being a serious culprit.  The American Heart Association has now advised limiting added sugars to 100 calories per day for women (6.5 teaspoons) and 150 calories for men (10 teaspoons).  Time to read those food labels.

Parents of young children generally do a good job of keeping dangerous items, such as drugs, out of the reach of young, curious fingers, but one in four Grandmas leave their medications where their grandchildren can get them.  Emergency room visits due to accidental poisoning have become much more frequent in the last 10 years and the most commonly ingested drugs are pain-relievers, especially opiates and acetaminophen.

Don't let a visit to the grandparents become a tragic tale.  Talk to our pharmacists about tips to improve the security of your medications while allowing you to access what you need.

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