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The First Step Towards 'Making The Connection' Between Cholesterol And Your Heart
by: News Canada
Your first line of defense is information and education.
(NC)-Like many Canadians, you probably have not given much thought to your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a silent and a significant risk factor for heart disease, which is the number one killer of Canadians. It is estimated that eight million Canadians have high cholesterol, affecting 48 per cent of Canadian men, and 43 per cent of Canadian women.
Awareness of cholesterol and its role in heart disease is growing. The Canadian Lipid Nurse Network (CLNN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to patient education in the assessment and treatment of lipid disorders, including cholesterol, as a step to prevent heart disease.
In the Spring of 2002, members of CLNN conducted a series of public forums across Canada to inform people about the dangers of high cholesterol. The 'Making the Connection' public forums were held in 14 cities across Canada including Burnaby, Prince George, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Ottawa, Sherbrooke, Ste. Foy, Montreal, Moncton, Halifax, and St. John's. More than 1,300 Canadians attended these free information sessions, learning about the different types of cholesterol, how cholesterol affects heart health, how to reduce cholesterol levels through diet and exercise, and medical treatment options.
Liz Helden, a lipid nurse specialist at Chedoke-McMaster Hospital Lipid Clinic in Hamilton, and co-chair of the Canadian Lipid Nurse Network, was one of the presenters at the public information sessions.
"High cholesterol is one of the most common medical conditions affecting people from every walk of life," said Helden. "Since one cannot feel elevated cholesterol, or the effects it can have on their arteries and heart, many people do not fully understand the danger of high cholesterol or what should be done to reduce it.
"'Making the Connection' has been designed to inform Canadians about the role of cholesterol as an important risk factor in the development of heart disease and the risk of stroke," said Helden. "Knowing and recognizing the risks for heart disease is critical, and reducing cardiovascular risk by lowering cholesterol is key."
Based on the popularity of the Spring series, the 'Making the Connection' public forums will be continued this Fall. Check your local paper to see if a 'Making the Connection' public forum is coming to your city. For information on cholesterol and heart disease, please visit www.makingtheconnection.ca
or call toll-free 1-877-4-LOW-LDL (1-877-456-9535).
For more information regarding the CLNN, please visit www.lipidnurse.ca.
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