Toronto, ON — Only one in ten (12%) Canadians are aware of hypertension/high blood pressure as a chronic condition or disease, when in reality it’s a leading risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease, according to an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The only other chronic conditions or diseases Canadians are more aware of than hypertension/high blood pressure when asked — unaided — to think of chronic conditions/diseases the body could develop, are cancer (51%), diabetes (45%) arthritis (29%) and heart/cardiovascular disease (27%). Other chronic conditions or diseases that are top of mind for Canadians are listed in the table below.
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Among Canadians that have heard of hypertension/high blood pressure, six in ten (59%) are concerned of personally developing it. Canadians 50 years of age or older (62%) are more likely than Canadians under the age of 50 (56%) to be concerned about personally developing hypertension/high blood pressure. Canadians, however, are more concerned about personally developing cancer (74% - 30% very/44% somewhat) and heart disease or stroke (69% — 25% very/44% somewhat) and are less worried about personally developing diabetes (54% — 21% very/33% somewhat) and obesity (46% — 19% very/28% somewhat).
Furthermore, Canadians think that hypertension/high blood pressure is more common for men, with 63% thinking approximately 25% or more of men in Canada currently have high blood pressure, while the proportion is much less for women with 51% of Canadians thinking that approximately 25% of women or more currently have it. In reality, after the age of 60, high blood pressure is more common amongst women — with more than half of all women being diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Risk Factors for Hypertension/High Blood Pressure
On average, Canadians give 51% of the responsibility of developing hypertension/high blood pressure to lifestyle habits as well as 27% of the responsibility to genetics/heredity and 22% to age. Regionally, Canadians in the Atlantic are most likely to think lifestyle habits is a more important factor, assigning it 53.9% of the responsibility while British Columbians give it 52.5%, Albertans 51.4%, Quebecers 50.2%, Ontarians 50% and Canadians in the Prairies give it 49.3%. In fact, the risk of high blood pressure increases with age but can be reduced by healthy lifestyle habits.
Lifestyle habits are important for anyone who wants to decrease their risk of developing hypertension/high blood pressure, and a very important lifestyle habit is the type of food that one consumes. The top three foods Canadians think will decrease the risk of developing hypertension/high blood pressure are fruits and vegetable (88%), fish (78%) and legumes (76%). However, dairy products may help manage blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke, but only 60% of Canadians said milk, cheese and/or yogurt. In the table below include other foods that Canadians think will help reduce the risk of developing hypertension/high blood pressure.
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These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 8th and February 16th, 2016, on behalf of Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. For this survey, a sample of 2,548 Canadians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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Ipsos Public Affairs
About Ipsos in Canada
Ipsos is Canada’s market intelligence leader, the country’s leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos’ marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos in Canada is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.
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