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Canadians overestimate heart health: Survey

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You are probably well aware that healthy lifestyle choices help you live a longer, better life.  But a new survey suggests Canadians overestimate how health conscious they actually are.

Aging baby boomers in particular are significantly off target when it comes to meeting guidelines to prevent hypertension and manage their heart health.

A new survey from Leger Marketing suggests nine in 10 people aged 55 to 65 are at risk for hypertension but only six per cent of those surveyed knew it.

Hypertension is known as ‘the silent killer;’ there may be no signs or symptoms yet, and if left uncontrolled, it can lead to heart disease or stroke.

“In my 30 years of family medicine, I’ve had to tell many patients the bad news that they have hypertension,” says Dr. Joseph Kozak, a general practitioner based in Toronto.  “But when we go through their habits and lifestyle, it becomes apparent they’re just not doing enough in terms of diet and exercise.  We need to be honest with ourselves and make real changes that will result in real risk reduction.”

The survey points out many Canadians think they are being heart healthy by exercising and cutting back on fast food and salt, but half have no idea what a healthy level of sodium is and they are not doing enough to keep their blood pressure in check.