The Heart and Stroke Foundation has issued a serious warning for young people.
In a report released Monday, the Foundation said a “perfect storm” of risk factors and demographic charges are converging to create an unprecedented burden on the health care system.
Spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson said the face of heart disease in this country is changing to include groups that have historically been immune to heart disease threats.
“Traditionally high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes were diseases of grown-ups or adults – now we’re seeing this in younger individuals and we are seeing heart disease and even stroke in younger individuals than ever before,” she explained.
And that is a trend Cheryl Shapiro is all too familiar with as she told 680News she was just 25-years-old when she was diagnosed with hyper-tension.
“Young people feel that they’re invincible – they can eat anything, they can sit on – you know – their couch – exercise is not a priority to them. That is a huge contributor to heart disease.”
According to the Foundation, between 1994 and 2005, rates of high blood pressure among Canadians skyrocketed by 77 per cent, diabetes by 45 per cent and obesity by 18 per cent – affecting both younger and older Canadians. Moreover, even younger age groups are experiencing increases in risk: among those 35 to 49 years of age, for example, the prevalence of high blood pressure increased 127 per cent, diabetes by 64 per cent and obesity by 20 per cent – all major risk factors for heart disease.
One interesting note is that experts have said Toronto is the thinnest city in Ontario, but the least physically active.