Message from the Minister of Health - Heart Month, February 2023


Heart disease is currently one of the leading causes of death in Canada, second only to cancer. Approximately 2.6Footnote 1 million Canadian adults aged 20 and older live with ischemic heart disease (IHD), the most common type of heart disease.

February marks Heart Month and provides us with an opportunity to focus on the efforts we can make to improve our heart health. Although rates of heart disease in Canada have been declining, largely due to advances in research, drug therapies and prevention efforts, there are many risk factors that still contribute to heart disease. Lifestyle changes, small and big, can help reduce your risk. These include things such as eating healthier, getting proper sleep, being physically active, managing your stress and limiting your alcohol intake.

The Government of Canada is committed to helping individuals improve their health and providing the necessary resources so they can reduce their risk of heart disease and other conditions. There is information available online that can be helpful, such as Canada's Food Guide, to support healthier meal choices and tips on physical activity.

Additionally, through the Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund we are investing into interventions that aim to prevent chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Through this Fund we focus on priority communities who face health inequities and are at greater risk of developing chronic disease.

While we can act on improving our day-to-day choices, biological, environmental, and socio-economic factors also influence our risk of heart disease. These factors can include age, gender, family history, income, and air pollution.

That is why we are supporting various areas of heart health research. For example, to help improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of heart failure across the country, we have invested $5 million to support the Canadian Heart Function Alliance, a national research network aimed at addressing the burden of heart failure in Canada. With more than 750,000 people who live with heart failure in Canada and with over 106,000 new cases every year, this network is doing important work.

During Heart Month, we encourage you to learn more about the risk factors for heart disease and what we can do to prevent it. Together, let's take action to improve our heart health and make healthy living a priority.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

Footnote 1

According to 2017-2018 data from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (CCDSS)

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