Stroke and heart disease are the leading causes of death in Canada. The first step to reducing your risk of stroke involves knowing your risk factors. Risk factors fall into two groups: modifiable and non-modifiable.
NON MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS:
- Age: over 55 yrs old, although 30% of strokes occur in younger people
- Gender: male (although because women live longer, more will die from stroke each year
- Ethnicity: stroke rates are higher for certain ethnic groups (i.e.: people of aboriginal, black or Chinese descent)
- Family history: immediate family history of stroke, especially before the age of 65 years
MODIFABLE RISK FACTORS:
- Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke
- Heart disease
- High blood cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol
Please see below for suggested resources/tools related to the modifiable risk factors.
- Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP) has yearly updates regarding recommendations for the diagnosis, management and treatment of hypertension.
- Personalized Blood Pressure Action Plan
- Learn about salt at www.sodium101.ca and at HSFO website
- "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension" eating plan features plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are heart healthy and lower in salt/sodium. Visit the website http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/
- Smoking Cessation Resources in the Ottawa Community
- Smoking Cessation Heart Check Program
- Integrating Smoking Cessation into Daily Nursing Practice
- HSFO website
- McPherson, R. (2006). Canadian Cardiovascular Society Position Statement- Recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of dyslipidemia and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Can J of Cardiol 22, (11), September 2006.
- Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating
- Dieticians of Canada
- Physical activity guide to healthy active living: A guide to help you make wise choices about physical activity. Choices that will improve your health, help prevent disease, and allow you to get the most out of life
- Drink no more than 1-2 alcoholic drinks a day to a maximum of 14 drinks a week for men and 9 drinks a week for women.
- The Ontario Ministry of Health MedsCheck Program which provides free visits with a pharmacist for patients taking three or more medications for a chronic condition.