MONTREAL | Inter-professional collaboration is key to managing patients’ vascular risk and preventing vascular disease, according to a declaration issued by organizers of an unprecedented clinical meeting here.
The Vascular Declaration also calls on health-care professionals to “collaborate with other sectors to advocate for and address legislative, social and built environment factors that impact population health.”
The declaration was created by representatives of the Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Canadian Stroke Network, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Hypertension Canada. Those organizations are meeting in Montreal this week for Vascular 2013, a one-time even in which four separate scientific meetings have been brought together under one roof.
In a news release, the Heart and Stroke Foundation noted vascular diseases—including diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, dementia, kidney diseases and certain lung and eye conditions—are the leading cause of preventable death and disability in Canada. Some 24 million Canadians have at least one risk factor for vascular disease and 10 million have three or more. Furthermore, the aging population, combined with unfavourable trends in obesity, physical inactivity, hypertension and diabetes, are expected to further increase the social and economic impact of vascular diseases in the coming decades.
“We need to form a united front against this massive challenge to our society and economy,” Dr. Duncan Stewart, the scientific chair of Vascular 2013, said in the release.
“Direct action is required at all levels to achieve meaningful impact on vascular health,” added Dr. Stewart, who is also a practising cardiologist and CEO and scientific director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.
Key modifiable risk factors are unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of physical activity, excess alcohol intake and stress.
In addition to its messages for health-care professionals, the declaration addresses the general public, governments, researchers, not-for-profit organizations and the private sector.
Federal, provincial and municipal governments are asked to implement “effective public policies and regulations that foster healthy food, physical activity and smoke-free environments,” to “be inclusive of the needs, interests and abilities of specific populations within their local contexts and settings” and to “monitor the impact of public policies and regulations on health, economic productivity and chronic care costs.”