Quick Facts

  • Nine in ten Canadians (24 million) have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  • By adopting healthy behaviours, you can delay the onset of heart disease or stroke by as much as 14 years.
  • Up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable by adopting healthy behaviours.
  • Although strokes can occur at any age, most strokes occur in people over 65.
  • Your risk of stroke is increased if close family members – parents, siblings or children – had a stroke before age 65.
  • If you’ve had a previous stroke or a TIA, which is also known as a mini-stroke, your risk of stroke is greater.
  • High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease.
  • Individuals with atrial fibrillation have a risk of stroke that is 3 to 5 times greater than those without atrial fibrillation.
  • Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), coronary artery disease and stroke, particularly if your blood sugar levels are poorly controlled.
  • First Nations people and those of African or South Asian descent are more likely to have high blood pressure and diabetes, and therefore are at greater risk of heart disease and stroke than the general population.


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