Is Your Ethnic Background Putting You At Risk For Heart Disease And Stroke?
Prevention and Treatment Your ethnic background may put you at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease but maintaining a healthy lifestyle may help to combat this possibility.
Modern life has made us all susceptible to chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes but, depending on your ethnic background, you may be more at risk of suffering from hypertension, heart disease, or stroke than others.
Canadians at risk
Research has shown that people of South Asian, African, First Nations, Inuit, or Métis descent are at a greater risk of developing heart disease and stroke than the general population. The Canadian population is made up of over 200 different ethnic groups, 13 of which have surpassed the 1 million mark.
It is important to consult with your pharmacist or healthcare provider about your individual needs.
“On a pharmacological level, certain races may digest or metabolize drugs differently,” says Laura Weyland, pharmacist and certified diabetes educator. “Different ethnic groups may not respond in the same way to some cardiovascular drugs.” It is important to consult with your pharmacist or healthcare provider about your individual needs.
Healthy choices, healthy heart
For people in these high-risk groups, vigilant blood pressure monitoring and healthy lifestyle choices are key. Maintaining a balanced diet that is low in sodium and trans fat, combined with adequate exercise, and limiting the use of tobacco and alcohol may lower your chances of developing a chronic disease. To support Canadians wishing to take control of their heart health, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada has launched an app that offers information, resources, and a 30 day challenge.