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Men’s Heart Health Fact Sheet

Source: CanolaInfo, Category: Health & Nutrition, General Canola Info

The Facts: (1)

  • Men have a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and tend to experience their first cardiac event earlier than women.
  • Between 70 and 89 percent of sudden cardiac events occur in men. Half of those who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms.
  • Before 75 years of age, more men than women experience CVD events due to heart disease.
  • More men smoke than women and over 70 percent of men are either overweight or obese.


“Men most experience chest pain as a primary symptom of a heart attack. They describe it as not exactly pain, but pressure, which is often associated with nausea, sweating and radiation of the pain. A man should become concerned if this discomfort happens with exertion and relieves with rest or becomes more frequent and intense.” – Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., preventive cardiologist, Heart and Vascular Institute, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City

Risk Factors:(1,2)

  • Smoking: About 21 percent of Americans ages 18 and up and 18 percent of Canadians ages 15 and older smoke.
  • High blood pressure: Nearly 34 percent of Americans age 20 and older and 19 percent of Canadian adults have high blood pressure.
  • High blood cholesterol: Over 44 percent of Americans age 20 and older and about 40 percent of Canadians have high blood cholesterol.
  • Obesity: More than 67 percent of Americans age 20 and older and almost 60 percent of Canadians age 18 and over are overweight or obese.
  • Diabetes: More than 8 percent of Americans and nearly 7 percent of Canadians age 20 and over have physician-diagnosed diabetes.
  • Lack of exercise: About 36 percent of American adults and nearly half of Canadians ages 12 and up report being physically inactive.
  • Poor diet: Between 1971 and 2004, energy intake among U.S. adults increased by 10 percent in men, mainly due to larger portion sizes and greater intake of starches, refined grains and sugars. Only about 9 percent of Americans are meeting the ideal saturated fat intake level of 7 percent or less of total energy. Canadians of all ages get more than one-fifth of their calories from “other foods” that are not part of the four food groups.


“Smoking is one of the most critical risk factors in men as well as family history. If their mother or father had heart disease at a young age, they are more at risk. Also, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and stress are also risk factors for men.” – Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum

Prevention: (3)

  • Know your numbers: Visit a health professional who can measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index. These numbers may reveal CVD risks. Also, know your family history of CVD.
  • Ban Smoking: Tobacco alone causes one-fifth of CVD cases worldwide. If you are a smoker, stop; you will cut your risk of heart disease in half one year after quitting. In 15 years, your risk will be similar to that of someone who never smoked.
  • Be Active: Just 30 minutes of physical activity on most days can reduce your risk of heart attacks and stroke.
  • Control weight: Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Eat Healthfully: Fill your kitchen with nutritious foods. A healthy diet low in saturated fat and salt but rich in fruits and vegetables helps prevent CVD.
  • Eat the Right Fats: Not all fats are created equally! Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of daily calories, consuming mainly unsaturated fats. Choose monounsaturated fat-rich sources like nuts, seeds and canola oil. Increase omega-3 fat intake from foods such as fatty fish and canola oil. Consume less than 10 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol and minimal trans fat.
  • Limit Alcohol: If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.
  • Manage Stress: If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits may suffer. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.


“Heart disease is a leading men’s health threat. Take charge of heart health by making healthier lifestyle choices.” – Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum

1. Source: Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2011 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association, Circulation 2011, 123:e18-e209.
2. Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada,
3. World Heart Federation,


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