SOURCE: Heart and Stroke Foundation

Heart and Stroke Foundation

September 29, 2015 07:00 ET

World Heart Day 2015 Focuses on Healthy Heart Environments for Everyone, Everywhere

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - September 29, 2015) - To mark World Heart Day 2015, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is joining the World Heart Federation in calling on Canada and the global community to ensure the right to heart-healthy environments so that people all around the world have the opportunity to make healthy heart choices.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, is the world's number one killer. Each year, it is responsible for 17.3 million premature deaths, including more than 66,000 in Canada, and by 2030 this is expected to rise to 23 million. At least 80% of these deaths are in low- and middle-income countries where human and financial resources are most limited to address them. Yet most premature deaths caused by CVD could be avoided by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and raised blood pressure, all of which are strongly linked to a person's environment.

Dr Salim Yusuf, President, World Heart Federation, Professor of Medicine, McMaster University, Executive Director, Population Health Research Institute , McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences, and Heart and Stroke Foundation/Marion W. Burke Chair in Cardiovascular Disease, explains the importance of World Heart Day: "We have an opportunity to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke and to change the course of these diseases and their global impact, by encouraging and supporting healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere. On World Heart Day, over 120 countries are joining together to encourage individuals, families, communities and governments to take action to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. I urge everyone to join us and get involved, no matter how small the effort, it all counts."

Everyone has the right to make positive healthy heart choices wherever they live, work and play. Yet too often society 'blames' the individual: you smoke, you eat and drink too much, you don't exercise. But the environments we occupy can either encourage or discourage the choices we make to be more heart healthy and everybody has the right to choose to be heart healthy, no matter where they live work and play.

David Sculthorpe, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation, says, "Ensuring that individuals have access to heart-healthy environments requires immediate and continuing action at municipal, provincial/territorial and national levels. We want people in Canada and around the world to have access to heart-healthy choices that reduce their risk of developing or dying from heart disease and stroke. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has and will continue to advocate for opportunities like: smoke-free spaces; active, safe routes to school; walk- and bike-friendly neighbourhood designs; restrictions on sugary drinks and marketing of food and beverages to children."

World Heart Day unites people from all countries and backgrounds in the fight against CVD and inspires and drives international action to encourage heart-healthy living across the world. People can join the cause for healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere by taking a Healthy Heart Selfie and sharing it on Twitter using the hashtags #WHD2015 and #heartchoices.

For further information regarding World Heart Day, please visit:

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Contact Information

  • For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

    Jane-Diane Fraser
    613-569-4361 x 4020