We decided to write this article to share some very sobering facts about heart attacks and stroke statistics in Canada. It’s hard to imagine planning for something like a heart attack or stroke occurring when we are young but it is a harsh reality that many many Canadians face as they age.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation tracks current statistics on heart disease and stroke in Canada and once reviewing some of the numbers you may be shocked.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Canada. Six percent of all deaths in Canada are caused by a stroke. Each year, nearly 14,000 Canadians die from stroke. There are over 50,000 strokes in Canada each year. That’s one stroke every 10 minutes. For every 100,000 Canadian, children under the age of 19, there are 6.7 strokes. After age 55, the risk of stroke doubles every 10 years.
About 300,000 Canadians are living with the effects of a stroke and a stroke survivor has a 20% chance of having another stroke within 2 years.
Of every 100 people who have a stroke 15 die (15%), 10 recover completely (10%), 25 recover with a minor impairment or disability (25%), 40 are left with a moderate to severe impairment (40%) and 10 are so severely disabled they require long-term care (10%). The leading cause of hospitalization in Canada continues to be heart disease and stroke, accounting for 16.9 % of total hospitalizations.
There are an estimated 70,000 heart attacks each year in Canada. That’s one heart attack every 7 minutes. Over 16,000 Canadians die each year as the result of a heart attack. Most of these deaths occur out of hospital. The number of heart attack related hospitalizations has increased steadily over the past decade (1994-95 to 2003-04). Up to 45,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada. That’s one cardiac arrest every 12 minutes.
Heart failure is on the increase as a result of successes in treating heart attacks and other cardiac conditions. As people with damaged hearts are living longer, they become more susceptible to heart failure. It is estimated that there are 500,000 Canadians living with heart failure and 50,000 new patients are diagnosed each year. Depending on the severity of symptoms, heart dysfunction, age and other factors, congestive heart failure can be associated with an annual mortality of between 5% and 50%. The average annual mortality rate for congestive heart failure is 10% per year with a 50% five year survival rate. Up to 40% to 50% of people with congestive heart failure die within five years of diagnosis.
When you look at these numbers it is important to note the number of people who actually survive a heart attack or stroke and have to live the rest of their lives requiring medical treatment for disabilities that result.
This is a major reason why critical illness insurance coverage is so important. Critical illness insurance coverage protects you and offers a lump sum pay out in the event that you suffer a heart attack or stroke. It also protects people diagnosed with cancer, Alzheimer’s and a host of other serious illnesses that one can suffer and survive. It is a fairly new type of insurance coverage and one that more and more Canadians have come to realize is a necessary component of their overall insurance planning.
For more information about heart attacks and stroke or to learn more about critical illness coverage please visit www.ifcg.com or call IFCG at 416-849-1653.