Message from the Minister of Health – Heart Month
Approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults aged 20 and older live with diagnosed heart disease, which is the second leading cause of death in Canada.
While rates of heart disease in Canada are declining, largely due to advances in research, drug therapies and prevention efforts, risk factors such as excess weight and unhealthy eating, coupled with our aging population, have slowed down this decline in recent years.
February is Heart Month, which provides an opportunity to focus on the steps we can take to improve our heart health. We can reduce our risk of heart disease by making healthy lifestyle choices. However, there are Canadians that face barriers to realizing their optimal health and live with higher rates of heart disease.
That’s why the Government of Canada has made heart health a priority by supporting innovative partnerships across Canada, like Kid Food Nation, Farm to School, and ParticipACTION. These initiatives aim to lower risk factors for developing chronic disease, including heart disease, and improve access to the information, resources, and services Canadians need to make healthy choices.
Over the last five years we have also invested more than $500 million in cardiovascular research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, including supporting the Women’s Heart and Brain Health Chair Awards. We are also investing up to $4 million in the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Activate project to help Canadians manage risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
These are important initiatives and investments that have the potential to save lives and make a positive impact on Canadians. This Heart Month, I encourage you to take steps to lower your risk of developing heart disease by:
- consulting Canada’s Food Guide and making healthy food choices;
- moving more; and
- quitting smoking, as tobacco use makes a person up to four times more likely to develop heart disease.
Together, let’s take action to improve our heart health.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
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