Limited awareness of cholesterol levels, risk factors for heart attack
Considering that heart disease is one of the top health conditions impacting employers’ overall health-care costs, a new survey suggests they should be concerned.
One in two heart attack survivors don’t know the recommended cholesterol levels, or even their own cholesterol count. And 56 per cent don’t consider high cholesterol to be a chronic condition requiring long-term management and care, found a survey by Amgen Canada.
"Cardiovascular disease remains one of the most significant health challenges in Canada where an estimated 63,200 adults will experience a first heart attack this year," says Ponda Motsepe-Ditshego, executive medical director at Amgen Canada. "Patients want to reduce their risk of another heart attack, but are unsure about the best actions to take."
A 2014 study in Canada found employees vastly underestimate their cardiovascular risks, including cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. Heart disease is the second-leading cause of death in Canada, according to the federal government.
Sixty-two per cent of respondents to Amgen’s survey say they are mindful about what they eat, 60 per cent monitor their blood pressure and 55 per cent are conscious of their weight.
And while 88 per cent of patients have had their cholesterol checked in the last year by a physician, another 88 per cent of those with high cholesterol do not consider it to be a leading risk factor for another heart attack.
The survey involved more than 3,200 heart attack survivors across 13 countries, including 250 people in Canada.