Heart Disease is the unwanted wakeup call
(NC)—It was 5:15 a.m. when Scarborough resident, Mr. Ali, woke up feeling restless and with an unusual pain around his shoulders. After frantically waking up his wife and 17-year-old daughter, Mr. Ali called an ambulance and was rushed to the health centre for an emergency angioplasty. He was having a heart attack.
Thankfully, it wasn't too late, but for the thousands of Canadians who suffer from a heart attack or stroke each day, the odds might be against them.
“Both of my parents underwent bypass surgeries,” says Mr. Ali. “So the chance of developing heart disease, or even having a heart attack, was always at the back of my mind.”
Although risk factors for heart disease such as age, gender, race and family history cannot be controlled, other risk factors including high cholesterol can be managed through a combination of lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, and by medication, such as statins, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, bile acid sequestrants, fibric acids (fibrates) and niacin.
“Since I had the attack, my family and I are taking steps to managing these risk factors. My daughter and I exercise together regularly and the whole family is eating healthier now too.”
If you have a history of heart disease in your family or if you are currently being treated for one or more risk factors, your doctor can help you better identify where else you may be at risk and can work with you to optimally manage and reduce these factors.
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Heart & Stroke Foundation. Heart disease prevention. http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3483919/k.F2CA/Heart_disease__Prevention_of_Risk_Factors.htm. Last accessed August 30, 2012.
Heart & Stroke Foundation. Living with Cholesterol. http://www.heartandstroke.com/atf/cf/%7B99452D8B-E7F1-4BD6-A57D-B136CE6C95BF%7D/Living-with-cholesterol-en-v32.pdf. Last accessed November 21.
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