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Dispensing Health: February is Heart Health Month

Did you know nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke? Heart disease is a group of conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart.
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Heart Health sign

Did you know nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke?  
 
Heart disease is a group of conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart. Coronary artery disease is a form of heart disease which is caused from the buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to your heart. This can result in chest pain and lead to heart attacks.  

Do you know the signs of a ​heart attack​?  

The signs of a heart attack include the following:

● Chest discomfort  (pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
● Sweating
● Upper body discomfort including neck, jaw, shoulder, arms and back
● Nausea
● Shortness of breath
● Lightheadedness

It is recommended to call ​9-1-1 ​immediately if you or someone you know experience any of the above signs. The Heart and stroke foundation of Canada warns that the signs of a heart attack can vary from person to person, and especially vary between men and women. 
 
How can you prevent heart disease? 

Almost ​80 per cent​ of premature heart disease can be prevented through healthy behaviours and lifestyle choices.

The best defence against coronary artery disease is controlling risk factors of the disease, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and smoking.  

Some tips you can do to control your risk include the following ​healthy heart​ steps:

● Controlling your blood pressure
● Controlling your cholesterol levels
● Being physically active
● Managing your diabetes
● Decreasing stress as much as possible
● Maintaining a healthy weight
● Limiting alcohol use
● Quitting smoking 
 
How old is your heart? 

We welcome you to drop by any of our ​Oak Medical Arts​ locations to talk to your community pharmacist who can calculate your heart age and work with you to reach your goal of having a healthier heart! 
 
Check us out @oakmedicalarts.com! 
 
Your risk of a heart event in the next 10 years can be assessed right in the pharmacy using a risk calculator.

This risk tool takes into account factors that cannot be modified such as your age, your gender and if you have a diagnosis of diabetes.

However there are also risk factors that are included that can be modified including blood pressure and cholesterol levels and if you are a smoker.

Therefore by targeting and controlling these risk factors ​YOU​ can decrease your risk score! And we can help you on your journey! 
 
For the month of February we will be doing a weekly blog all about heart health! We will be talking about blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking cessation.

Next week we will discuss ways you can treat high blood pressure so stay tuned! 



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