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TheStreet Open House

Heart And Stroke Foundation Report: Without Lifestyle Changes Now, Many Baby Boomers Face A Decade Of Sickness And Disability In Their Later Years

Majority say they want quality time as they grow old but their actions don't match their words. This Heart Month, the Foundation urges Canadians to take action and "Make Health Last"

OTTAWA, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian baby boomers have big aspirations for their golden years, but their current lifestyle choices could keep them from making these dreams a reality. The Heart and Stroke Foundation's 2013 Report on the Health of Canadians titled Reality Check warns that without immediate action, baby boomers may spend their last years in sickness, disability and immobility.

Although Canadians are living longer, according to Statistics Canada, on average, there's a 10-year gap between how long we live, and how long we live in health. This gap is mainly due to heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions.

A new Heart and Stroke Foundation poll* found that while almost 80 per cent of Canadian boomers think their doctors would rate them as healthy, their self-reported lifestyle choices show otherwise.

A huge majority of boomers reported not eating enough vegetables and fruit (85 per cent), more than 40 per cent are not getting enough physical activity each week, one in five (21 per cent) smoke, and one in 10 (11 per cent) are heavy drinkers. While the large majority of boomers said they feel stressed at least sometimes, almost 30 per cent flag they are often or always stressed.

Despite these lifestyle habits, more than a quarter of Canadian baby boomers don't feel concerned about how healthy they will be later in life. And a shocking three quarters (74 per cent) don't know that they can reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 80 per cent with lifestyle modifications.

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