February 6th, 2020

// Survivors in Canada are Taking Steps to Reduce the Risk of Another Heart Attack. But is it Enough?

Survivors in Canada are Taking Steps to Reduce the Risk of Another Heart Attack. But is it Enough?

New Amgen Survey Shows Heart Attack Survivors in Canada Do Not Know Their Cholesterol Level or What It Should Be 

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - In recognition of February as Heart Month, Amgen Canada ("Amgen") today released Canadian findings as part of a global survey1 that evaluated worldwide heart attack survivors' perceptions and awareness of the connection between cholesterol and cardiovascular (CV) events revealing that 56 per cent of respondents in Canada do not consider high cholesterol to be a chronic condition requiring long-term management and care.2

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), or "bad" cholesterol, is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for heart attack.3 Globally more than 40% of patients who have had a CV event, like a heart attack, will go on to have another within two years.4

The survey's findings show that while heart attack survivors are proactively trying to improve their cardiovascular health, they may not fully understand the importance of lowering high LDL-C to reduce their risk of another heart attack: 

  • Sixty-two per cent of survey respondents report being mindful about what they eat, 60 per cent monitor their blood pressure and 55 per cent are conscious of their weight.5
  • However, confusion remains when it comes to lowering cholesterol. Only one in two heart attack survivors know both their current and target cholesterol level; and of survivors living with high cholesterol, 88 per cent do not consider it to be a leading risk factor for another event.6

"Cardiovascular disease remains one of the most significant health challenges in Canada where an estimated 63,200 adults will experience a first heart attack this year7," said Ponda Motsepe-Ditshego, Executive Medical Director at Amgen Canada. "This survey shows patients want to reduce their risk of another heart attack, but are unsure about the best actions to take. This Heart Month we're urging high-risk patients to talk to their doctor and learn more about the connection between high cholesterol and the risk of a repeat heart attack as well as how they can lower their cholesterol levels."

The survey of more than 3,200 heart attack survivors across 13 countries, including 250 people in Canada – revealed that patients might not be having the right conversations with their doctors. Additional key findings included:

  • Fifty-six per cent of surveyed Canadians do not believe high cholesterol is a chronic condition requiring long-term care.2
  • While 88 per cent of patients have had their cholesterol checked in the last year by a physician, only six out of ten patients have discussed the role of cholesterol in heart attacks with their healthcare professional.6

Globally, approximately 8 of 10 very high-risk adults are still unable to attain their LDL-C goal despite lipid-lowering therapy.8Professional cardiology societies around the world now recognize that lower cholesterol reduces the risk of another CV event, which is reflected in updated treatment guidelines for high-risk patients. Newer, more potent treatment options are the only way for these high-risk patients to achieve recommended cholesterol levels that can help reduce their risk of another heart attack.

Amgen encourages heart attack survivors or anyone concerned about their cardiovascular health to spend this Heart Month learning about cholesterol. But a heart-healthy lifestyle is an ongoing process, so talk to your doctor to learn more about how you can improve your heart health and reduce your risk of life-changing CV events.

About the Survey

The research was commissioned by Amgen and conducted by KRC Research, an independent global public opinion research consultancy. A total of 3,236 online surveys were completed by post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients aged 40 or older in 13 different countries. Two hundred and fifty heart attack survivors were surveyed in Canada. Participating countries included the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, China, South Korea, and Japan. The survey included approximately 250 MI patients from each participating country. Data collection took place from June 21 to July 18, 2019. 

About Heart Month

February is Heart Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular health, and what we can do to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease.9

Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults, and is the second leading cause of death in Canada.10

About Amgen Canada

As a leader in innovation, Amgen Canada understands the value of science. With main operations located in Mississauga, Ont.'s vibrant biomedical cluster, and its research facility in Burnaby, B.C., Amgen Canada has been an important contributor to advancements in science and innovation in Canada since 1991. The company contributes to the development of new therapies and new uses for existing medicines in partnership with many of Canada's leading health-care, academic, research, government and patient organizations. To learn more about Amgen Canada, visit www.amgen.ca.


1 Amgen "Global Cholesterol Disease State Education Survey: Understanding Patient Attitudes Towards Risk of Recurrence and Cholesterol Management, 2019".
2 Amgen "Global Cholesterol Disease State Education Survey" Country Highlights: Canada. Page 8.
3 Yusuf S, et al. Lancet. 2004;364:937-952.
4 Punekar RS, et al. Clin Cardiol. 2015; 38, 8, 483–491.
5 Amgen "Global Cholesterol Disease State Education Survey" Country Highlights: Canada. Page 10
6 Amgen "Global Cholesterol Disease State Education Survey" Country Highlights: Canada. Page 9
7 Public Health Agency of Canada "Report from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System: Heart Disease in Canada 2018. https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/publications/diseases-conditions/report-heart-disease-canada-2018/pub1-eng.pdf. Page 15, Figure 2A (2012 – 13)
Heart disease in Canada: Highlights from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/heart-disease-canada-fact-sheet.html Accessed January 22, 2020 
8 Gitt A, Lautsch D, Ferrieres J, et al. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in a global cohort of 57,885 statin-treated patients. Atherosclerosis. 2016 Dec;255:200-209 
9 https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2017/02/heart_month.html
10 Heart Disease in Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/heart-disease-canada.html Accessed November 20 2019.

SOURCE Amgen Canada


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