An Alberta couple has launched a public awareness campaign in an effort to save women`s lives.
Dr. Anmol Kapoor, a Calgary cardiologist, and his wife Raman created the DIL Walk Foundation five years ago to help create awareness for heart disease in the South Asian community.
Now they are targeting women, who see more deaths in Canada due to heart attack and stroke than men.
"When anybody talks about heart disease, immediately, you think of the male clenching their chest and having a heart attack," Raman Kapoor said.
Kapoor is a registered dietitian who knows all too well the importance of heart health.
She was born with a hole in her heart and needed open heart surgery at the age of 25.
"Having heart disease — whether it be heart disease that's related to lifestyle or a congenital heart disease, which I was born with — I'm at risk," she said. "It just makes me re-evaluate to make sure I'm doing the right things in my life."
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, more than 30 per cent of women's deaths annually is due to cardiovascular disease.
"Women do tend to be more focused on their families, on their loved ones, and maybe neglect their own health.- Samatha Berscht
That's amounts to 33,000 deaths a year from heart disease or stroke -- almost six times the number who die from breast cancer.
"Women do tend to be more focused on their families, on their loved ones, and maybe neglect their own health." says Samatha Berscht, who works for the Heart and Stoke Foundation.
Brescht says women have some unique risk factors men don't, such as hormone changes because of childbirth and menopause.
The DIL Walk Foundation — named after the word "heart" in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu — has created a video called Ask About Her Heart to urge Albertans to ask the women in their lives about their health.
"[It gives people] an opportunity, when they see someone they love, someone they care for and just ask about her heart, and start the conversation at home," said Anmol.
According to Berscht, women can reduce their risk of heart disease by up to 80 per cent by making simple changes.
- As little as 150 minutes a week of physical activity can cut risk by up to 50 per cent.
- Modify your diet, watch your weight.
- Make sure your blood pressure are in a good range.
- Ensure your cholesterol is in a good range.
- Quitting smoking.