Farther west in Canada, less heart risk

Jan. 11, 2007 at 12:06 PM
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TORONTO, Ontario, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The death rate from cardiovascular disease in Canada is highest in Newfoundland and Labrador and lowest in British Columbia.

In fact, the further east in Canada a person lives, the greater the chance of dying of heart disease, according to the Canadian Cardiovascular Atlas, a project of the Canadian Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Team.

The Atlas also found that, across Canada, deaths from heart disease are highest in rural areas of Canada and lowest in major urban centers.

Close to half of the regional variation can be attributed to a greater prevalence of risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity, according Dr. Jack Tu, Atlas editor at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto.

"Our work suggests that the biggest bang for the buck for preventing heart disease would come from encouraging people to develop healthier lifestyles -- smoking less, eating more healthily and exercising more," says Tu.

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