Monday, February 04, 2008

ACTNOW BC PROMOTES HEART HEALTH IN BC

FEBRUARY IS
HEALTHY HEART MONTH


February is national Healthy Heart Month, and Gordon Hogg, Minister of State for ActNow BC, urged all British Columbians to be their own best health manager to help reduce heart disease.

“There are many simple preventative measures people can take to avoid heart disease, including regular physical activity and maintaining a balanced diet,” said Hogg. “ActNow BC encourages all British Columbians to make everyday healthy choices that contribute to good heart health.”

Cardiovascular disease kills more than 4,400 British Columbians each year, and affects many more through related complications and conditions:

· More than 2,100 people die of heart attacks (myocardial infarction) annually in B.C.;

· One in six, or approximately 700,000 people in B.C., have been treated for hypertension, the main cause of a stroke;

· More than 6,000 British Columbians experience a stroke each year and approximately 2,000 die each year from stroke-related conditions.

British Columbians can take simple steps to help reduce heart disease and avoid complications from chronic diseases. Lifestyle choices that promote nutrition, daily physical activity and tobacco reduction can reduce the risks of heart disease.

The Province’s Primary Health Charter, announced in 2007, includes a planned approach of health care for patients with chronic conditions including congestive heart failure and hypertension. The charter has also created partnerships with many community organizations including the Healthy Heart Society of BC to support and meet patients’ needs. The Healthy Heart Society of BC joined the ActNow BC on the Road to Community Health Tour in July 2007, screening British Columbians for their heart health risk factors.

In May 2007, the Province provided a $2-million grant to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon to enhance the prevention and treatment of strokes and improve health outcomes for British Columbians.

“We are delighted to partner with government through ActNow BC and further our shared vision of spreading the healthy eating and active living messages around the province,” said Paddy O’Reilly, CEO of the Healthy Heart Society of BC. “It is vital that all British Columbians understand how important it is to prevent heart disease.”

The Ministry of Health is involved in a joint initiative with the BC Medical Association actively promoting participation by family practitioners in evidence-based care for patients with high-blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Currently, more than 2,800 family practitioners are participating in this program with a total of more than 293,000 B.C. patients.

ActNow BC is the Province’s health and wellness initiative that promotes healthy living choices with the goal of reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases and helping to improve the quality of life for all British Columbians.

Learn more about healthy lifestyles at www.actnowbc.ca.


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