One Canadian dies from heart disease every seven minutes. Some 2.4 million Canadian adults have heart disease right now – that’s similar to the population of Toronto. We can’t ignore those figures, nor can we dismiss the costs to the economy, our health care system or to our families. Because whenever a heart stops beating, many more hearts are dealt a blow.
That’s why OPSEU fully supports efforts to raise awareness through February’s Heart and Stroke Awareness Month. It’s a chance for us to learn and remember the risk factors for heart and stroke disease. Because 80 per cent of it is preventable! Changes like stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising, and getting more sleep can help.
OPSEU represents some 50,000 hardworking health professionals – one third of our membership. They know about the risks associated with heart disease. But we all owe it to ourselves, and those dear to us, to learn more about the illness, what we can do to prevent it, and how we can recognize a heart attack or a stroke when it happens – because every second counts.
This February, visit the website of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. And during the dark, cold days of February, be good to yourself and make just one healthy change to your lifestyle. It will warm your heart.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida