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JOIN US today, February 13 for #WearRedCanada! 

Wear RED in support of women & their families who’ve been affected by heart disease. Help raise awareness for Women's Heart Health, and #HerHeartMatters

One of DMRF's Focused 5 funding priorities is Improving Health Equity. And in an effort to raise awareness of heart disease in Canadian women as well as women globally - we thought it a perfect opportunity to highlight local cardiovascular research here in the Maritimes, focusing on health equity for vulnerable populations. 

Reduced quality of life, premature death, and $20.9 billion in annual federal spending are required to treat cardiovascular disease, a significant health issue in Canada. The Maritimes is home to the highest levels of cardiovascular disease in Canada due to risk factors, including an aging population and high rates of obesity and diabetes. While heart disease can affect people from all walks of life, recent studies have shown that specific populations, including women, pregnant women, Indigenous women, babies, older obese, and diabetic adults, are more vulnerable. For example:

  • Close to 25,000 women die each year from heart disease, and it is the leading cause of premature death for women in Canada. Women are five times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer.
  • Coronary heart disease is responsible for a 53 percent higher death rate in Indigenous women compared to non-Indigenous women. Heart health in indigenous communities is influenced by access to health care, education, and affordable food and water.
  • Over the nine months of gestation, women develop pregnancy-related conditions that put them at higher risk of heart disease including pre-eclampsia, diabetes, and hypertension. 
  • Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the world’s leading birth defect. About 1 in 80-100 Canadian children are born with CHD. Sixty years ago, only about 20 percent of children survived to adulthood; that number has since increased to about 90 percent – resulting in a growing population of young adults who require life-long cardiac care. There are an estimated 257,000 Canadians with congenital heart disease.

Diabetes triples the risk to die of heart disease and is even greater in diabetic women. Identified as a priority research team, the Cardiovascular Diseases in Vulnerable Populations group brings together research groups in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick consisting of life science discovery scientists, biomedical engineers, kinesiologists, nutritionists, cardiologists, and cardiovascular surgeons. 

Focusing efforts on the most vulnerable heart patients of all, including pregnant women, babies, older adults, and those with obesity and diabetes, the group is collaboratively working to uncover new knowledge for the prevention and advancing the treatment of cardiovascular disease and heart failure, in the vulnerable populations. In support of this cutting-edge research group, Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine is actively working to raise funds to fuel discoveries and enable the development of innovative technologies that can help prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, and save lives around the world.

Donate today to further accelerate local health research, here in the Maritimes.

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