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Heart to heart talk: separating fact from fiction

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Dr. Heather Ross, cardiologist, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, leading heart failure physician in Canada explains what heart failure is and what it is not, dispelling common myths around a condition that is preventable but not curable.(Video: PMCC/UHN)

​​Considerable strides have been made over the past 60 years when it comes to reducing the number of deaths resulting from cardiovascular disease in Canada.

Statistics show that death caused by either heart disease or stroke has declined by 80 per cent since the 1950's, and by 30 per cent since 2003 – a triumph of technology, innovation and research.

The reality, however, remains:

  • One in three Canadians die of cardiovascular disease (heart or stroke)
  • 1.3 million Canadians are currently living with heart disease
  • Cardiovascular disease is the second-leading cause of death in Canada and the leading cause globally

What might be surprising to learn is:

  • $21 billion a year is the cost to Canada's economy to manage heart disease
  • 2.1 years is the median survival rate after a diagnosis of heart failure
  • 50,000 new cases of heart failure will be diagnosed in Canada this year

heart month logo​Leading-edge research in the areas of minimally-invasive procedures, mechanical circulatory support (artificial hearts), transplant, and heart failure, among others, is happening at UHN's Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Canada's premier cardiac centre.

What is clear is that misconceptions around heart disease within the Canadian population are prevalent and even troubling. A national study conducted last month delved into common myths around heart failure.​

It found that that majority of Canadians erroneously believe that heart failure is:

  • When the heart stops beating (51%)
  • A silent killer with no symptoms (52%)
  • Not preventable (54%)

To mark Heart Month 2016, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre staff are sharing common myths about heart disease and offering daily tips on heart health to educate and inform Canadians.

Here are some examples:

 
 
 
 
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