In an era where people worldwide are experiencing longer life expectancies, it's worth noting that  by 2050, the world’s population aged 60 and older will double in size and reach 2.1 billion.1 This prolonged life span undoubtedly brings forth a multitude of opportunities, but the realization of these prospects is intricately intertwined with one's health. As we progress through the aging process, our bodies undergo various transformations, rendering us more vulnerable to a range of health conditions, with a particular emphasis on heart-related issues.

Managing heart health has never been more critical, particularly considering the increasing pressures health systems are facing, globally. Health systems everywhere feel pressured to keep up with a relentless flow of advances in science and technology, and at the same time, often experience substantial resource limitations impacting care delivery and patient outcomes. With age, people become more susceptible to conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes, both of which are heavily linked to heart failure.1 Maintaining a healthy heart in the form of healthy lifestyles, and active social lives can help limit or delay disease.

In this article, we will delve into the importance of cardiac health awareness, dispel common heart health myths, and explore the role of biomarkers in early detection and prevention.

Dispelling Common Heart Health Myths:

Fact: 2 As per heart.org, heart conditions can affect anyone at any age! Heart health knows no age boundaries. Although the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases increases with age,  it's crucial to prioritize your cardiovascular well-being regardless of your age.  Early prevention and awareness can make a significant difference in your long-term  health. Let's take proactive steps to care for our hearts at every stage of life.

Fact: 3 As per Harvard health publishing by Harvard Medical School, heart disease can affect both men and women. Actually, the most common signs of heart attack are different between men and women. Early detection can help save lives, contact your healthcare professional today!

Fact: 4 As per heartandstroke.ca, cardiac arrest and heart attack are not the same thing. The heart suddenly stops beating during cardiac arrest due to a problem with the electrical activity of the heart. During a heart attack, blood flow to the heart is decreased or blocked, causing heart cells death. Both are medical emergencies and 9-1-1 should be called immediately.

Role of BIOMARKERS:

Heart diseases are diagnosed based upon medical history, clinical examination, and a series of tests that can include imaging and blood tests. Unfortunately signs and symptoms of cardiac diseases are often unspecific, which can delay diagnostics and negatively impact patient’s outcome. 

Cardiac biomarkers are proteins that can be found in  the bloodstream and their levels can indicate the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. They can also inform the physician on the presence or the severity of a heart disease. For example, troponin T is a protein released by injured heart cells. Elevation of troponin T levels in the blood suggest that the patient might suffer from a myocardial infarct. Biomarkers are objective, user-independent, easy-to-use and cost-effective, and they are excellent  tools to diagnose and monitor heart disease, progression, and therapy.

For more than 25 years, Roche Diagnostics has been proud to support  laboratories improving care for cardiac diseases by investing in the development, evidence generation and medical education on important high-impact biomarkers such as troponin T, NT-proBNP and Lp(a) among others.

Having access to reliable cardiac biomarkers results can dramatically change a patient's life. It can empower them with insightful information that can lead to lifestyle change and a more purposeful life.

In conclusion, Cardiac Awareness Month in Canada serves as a reminder of the importance of heart health at every stage of life. By dispelling common myths and recognizing the significance of early detection through biomarkers, we can take proactive steps towards a heart-healthy future. Whether you're young or old, male or female, prioritizing your cardiovascular well-being is a step in the right direction for a longer, healthier life. Remember, your heart is your most vital organ; take care of it!

References:

1.World Health Organization. Aging and health. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health. Accessed 16 June 2023.

2.https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease/top-10-myths-about-cardiovascular-disease

3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/10-myths-about-heart-disease 

 4.https://www.heartandstroke.ca/what-we-do/media-centre/news-releases/what-you-dont-know-about-heart-disease-and-stroke-could-hurt-you 


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