ZOOMERS: We’re paying more attention to our hearts

ZOOMERS: We’re paying more attention to our hearts

Cardiovascular health is important – especially as we age

But don’t tell my heart; My achy breaky heart

I just don’t think he’d understand.

It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years since we line-danced to Billy Ray Cyrus’ Achy Breaky Heart.

Come on… admit it. You know you loved that tune.

Rumour has it the singer is going to re-release the iconic hit, although he won’t be sporting his cowboy boots and infamous mullet hairstyle.

As Zoomers, we are still concerned about the state of our hearts, although not so much in the way that Billy Ray describes. We are not so obsessed about the one who got away or rejected our amorous advances; we are more worried about the state of our cardiovascular health as we age.

Cardiovascular disease is a term that refers to more than one disease of the circulatory system including the heart and blood vessels, whether the blood vessels are affecting the lungs, the brain, kidneys or other parts of the body.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in adult Canadians.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there are six types of cardiovascular disease:

• Ischemic heart disease is the most common, and refers to problems with the circulation of blood to the heart muscle. A complete blockage of an artery causes a myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack.

• Cerebrovascular disease (stroke) refers to a problem with the circulation of blood in the blood vessels of the brain. A blockage with effects lasting less than 24 hours is referred to as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A complete blockage with long-term effects is referred to as a cerebrovascular thrombosis (clot) or a stroke.

• Peripheral vascular disease affects the circulation primarily in the legs.

• Heart failure occurs when the pumping action of the heart cannot provide enough blood to the rest of the body.

• Rheumatic heart disease begins with a bacterial infection in childhood, affecting joints and heart valves.

• Congenital heart disease is a problem with the structure of the heart arising due to a birth defect.

Many factors increase the risk of cardiovascular and heart disease – smoking, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and stress.

Together with new treatments and medications, people are living longer and with fewer symptoms.

We know the risks of stroke and heart attack can be reduced with a healthier lifestyle and proper medical attention.

But did you know there is a correlation between cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease?

Following our recent successful CARP event on dementia, we are hosting another event on an important health topic.

Dr. Larry Dian, a geriatric medicine specialist and clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at UBC, will present the latest scientific research on the relationship of cardiovascular disease and the onset of Alzheimer’s. He spoke a couple of years ago to CARP members on ‘successful aging,’ which was well-received, so we are delighted to welcome him back.

Dian’s presentation is entitled Healthy Heart equals Healthy Brain: New Insights into Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.

There will be time for audience questions following his talk.

Join us on Wednesday, June 14 at the White Rock Community Centre at 7 p.m. Admission by donation. RSVP to Denice at 604-538-5778.

Cowboy boots and mullets are welcome.

April Lewis is the local communications director for CARP. She writes monthly.