The Heart and Stroke Foundation has just released a report entitled A Perfect Storm of Heart Disease Looming on our Horizon (click for report in PDF). It says that the face of heart disease in Canada has changed and says there is an impending crisis.
Among the new high risk groups are young adults (in their 20s and 30s) and ethnic populations, such as South Asians.
The report on young Canadian adults:
Over the past 15 years, Canada has seen significant increases in overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. It used to be thought that like heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, were “diseases of aging.” These increases will translate into an explosion of heart disease in the next generation.
“There are more than 250,000 young Canadians in their 20s and 30s with high blood pressure. That’s something we could have never imagined a decade ago. It’s almost a doubling in 15 years,” says Stephen Samis. “The real tragedy is that this is largely preventable.”
On ethnic populations:
Research has shown that Canadians of South Asian and African-Caribbean descent are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke because of higher rates of high blood pressure and diabetes. South Asian Canadians may be at particular risk as evidence suggests they may develop heart disease 5 to 10 years earlier than other ethnic groups. Provinces that currently have significant visible minority populations, such as B.C. (25%), Ontario (23%) and Alberta (14%) — and in particular major metropolitan, urban centres such as Vancouver (42%), Toronto (43%), Montreal (17%), and Calgary (22%) — are going to face a tremendous growth in the need for cardiovascular prevention and care as these growing populations age.