New Report Links Heart Conditions, Strokes and Dementia

A groundbreaking report from Heart and Stroke has found a deep connection between heart conditions, strokes and cognitive impairment including dementia.

After analysizing hospital stays over the past decade, the report shows people who have one vascular conditions are at a much higher risk of developing multiple vascular conditions and dementia.

The report found between 2007 and 2017, 2.6-million Canadians  were in hospital experiencing at least one heart condition, a stroke or vascular congitive impairment and 40% of them were re-admitted for a new related illness.

Speaking on the Afternoon News, Neurologist and Chief of Neurosciences at Windsor Regional Hospital Dr. Michael Winger says these medical issues can not be treated in silos.

"It is not like we have isolated problems, they are all interconnected and it is important for patients, their families and also the health care providers to realize that if you had a stroke, we have to look at other problems," he says. "They may have heart disease problems, they may have circulation problems elsewhere in the body."

He says says it appears one issue, may lead to another.

"From the stroke point of view, one of the statistics that we have, is that after a stroke, 10% of those patients who survived the stroke will be diagnosed with cognitive impaired by six months after the event."

The risk factors for stroke usually are high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and obesity.

Research shows one person dies in Canada every five minutes from heart conditions, stroke or vascular cognitive impairment which is more than any other disease.

--With files from AM800's Patty Handysides and Peter Langille