The Goal of the Healthy Heart Program at NHC
Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing the risk factors, some of which includes physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, being overweight or obese, tobacco use, elevated blood pressure, poor stress management, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Lifestyle changes with focus on specific heart healthy foods along with an exercise program strengthens the heart and improves the overall function of the cardiovascular system.
This individualized program considers your lifestyle, mental/emotional stress factors, diet, and activity level. Our practitioners will create a treatment plan that is manageable and best suited for your condition to prevent and/or treat any cardiovascular condition.
(1) WHO | Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). 2014. WHO | Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).[ONLINE] Available at: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) [Accessed 19 May 2014].
(2) Cardiovascular Disease – CVD | Canadian Best Practices Portal – CBPP. 2014.Cardiovascular Disease – CVD | Canadian Best Practices Portal – CBPP. [Accessed 19 May 2014].
Overview of the Cardiovascular System
The cardiovascular system has three main components: the heart, the blood vessels, and the blood itself.
The heart serves the action of the system’s pump and the blood vessels are the delivery routes. Blood is the fluid which gets pumped throughout the body providing oxygen and other nutrients to vital tissues and also aids in the removal of wastes. Therefore, the main function of the cardiovascular system is the maintenance of blood flow to all parts of the body to ensure survival.
Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease
The following behavioral risk factors contribute to approximately 80% of coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease (1).
1. Unhealthy diet
2. Physical inactivity
3. Tobacco use and alcohol consumption
Unhealthy diet and physical inactivity can elevate blood pressure, blood glucose, lipid levels, and also increases weight. These measurable risk factors are known as “intermediate risk factors” indicating an increased risk of developing a heart failure, stroke, heart attack and other co morbidities (1).
The following data is obtained from World Health Organization & from Public Health Agency of Canada.
According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally.
“CVDs are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause (1).”
“In 2007, 1.3 million Canadians (4.8%) reported having heart disease diagnosed by a health professional (2).”
“Men are more likely to report having a heart disease than women – 5.3% of men and 4.2% of women (2).”
“Men were more likely to die of CVD than women – almost three times higher for those under 65 years of age (2).”
“Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, diabetes and raised lipids (1).”
“9.4 million deaths each year, or 16.5% of all deaths can be attributed to high blood pressure. This includes 51% of deaths due to strokes and 45% of deaths due to coronary heart disease (1).”