Public Education & Patient Advocacy Director, Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada
Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada and was responsible for more than 8.9 million deaths globally in 2015. From 2012 to 2013, 578,000 Canadians over the age of 20 experienced a heart attack. The majority of these patients never participated in a cardiovascular rehabilitation program, in spite of research indicating that attendance at these programs reduces mortality, lessens readmission to hospital, lowers blood pressure, improves blood oxygen levels, lowers blood glucose levels, and reduces anxiety and depression.
The Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada recently announced the release of the video entitled “Cardiac Stories of Survival.” Check out these incredible journeys of individuals who survived life-threatening cardiac events, and learn about the critical role that cardiac rehabilitation played in their day-to-day survival.
During this past week, we learned of the impact of cardiovascular disease on Jay Bouwmeester, an NHL defenceman with the professional hockey team the St. Louis Blues. Each of the individuals featured has a unique story of survival with cardiovascular disease. Their journeys, however, should also all include the opportunity to attend a cardiac rehabilitation program. Governments need to increase funding for these programs and to implement an automatic referral for anyone admitted to hospital with cardiovascular disease.