Statement Article from  Health Canada

Heart Month, February 2016 - Ministerial Message

As Minister of Health, I would like to take this opportunity to help raise awareness of the importance of heart health and cardiovascular disease prevention this month.

Each year more than 1.4 million Canadians are diagnosed with heart disease. As a family physician, I saw countless patients who were living with chronic diseases that may have been preventable with a few lifestyle changes. We can all reduce our risk by eating healthy foods, being physically active and not smoking.

With nine in ten Canadians over the age of 20 having a least one risk factor for heart disease, we all need to take real action.

Government programs are supporting partnerships in communities across Canada that promote healthy living and that provide Canadians with information to help make healthier choices. Initiatives like The Play Exchange, Build Our Kids' Success, RBC Learn to Play and Run to Quit are all helping Canadians live healthier.

In addition, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Government of Canada has invested in research into heart disease prevention techniques, promising treatments, and tackling health inequities in Canada. The Government has also partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and others on the Canadian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium -- the first large-scale effort focused on making Canadians more aware of how to perform life-saving interventions when someone suffers cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting.

In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, early access to CPR and defibrillation can increase a person's odds of survival. That is why it is important to have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) installed in public places around the country, and for Canadians to learn CPR.

This Heart Month, I encourage you to think about what can be done within your community, your organization, or personally to prevent heart disease and stroke. For example, you can start by aiming for 30 minutes of physical activity every day, learning how to cope with stress in a healthy way or teaching your children about heart-healthy habits.

For more information about heart disease and heart health, please visit Canada.ca/Health, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P. 
Minister of Health


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