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This article was published 1/2/2011 (3351 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
TORONTO -- Many Canadians are in denial about risk factors for heart disease that are within their means to manage and control, warns the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
The organization says about 250,000 potential years of life are lost each year in Canada due to cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and other chronic heart-related conditions. In its annual report Tuesday, the foundation released poll results revealing a disconnect between knowledge of heart health risks and the reality of practising healthier habits. The poll of 2,000 adults was conducted in December. The survey found that 84 per cent of respondents know that nine out of 10 adults have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Nine in 10 surveyed know the majority of first-time heart attacks are caused by risk factors that they can control.
While nearly 90 per cent of respondents rate themselves as healthy, in reality, nine out of 10 people have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
About a third of poll respondents said they aren't physically active or don't eat a minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables daily. In reality, about half of Canadians don't meet the physical activity and healthy eating recommendations.
"What we think we're doing as individual Canadians and what we're actually doing is not the same thing," said Dr. Beth Abramson, a Toronto cardiologist and Heart and Stroke spokeswoman.
"There's a disconnect, and there's a false sense of security that's cutting our lives short. We're overestimating our healthy behaviours and underestimating our tendency to be couch potatoes, so we need to make individual plans that can change our heart-healthy behaviour and our long-term outlook."
-- The Canadian Press