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Heart-to-Heart: Canadian Adults Wary of Having “The Talk” with their Parent(s)

August 7, 2012

New program helps to break the ice and get Canadian adults and their
parent(s) talking about a serious heart condition that can lead to
stroke

TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2012 /CNW/ – Many parents feels anxious about the
inevitable talk about the “birds and bees” with their children -
sitting their kids down and explaining the facts. However, when the
tables are turned and the “kids” become adults, having “The Talk” with
their parent(s) about sensitive health issues can be really
uncomfortable.  A recent survey shows about 60 per cent of Canadian
adults with living parent(s) regularly do not have “The Talk” about
health issues with their parent(s)(1) and almost a third (30 per cent) say they don’t quite know how to start
conversations with them about sensitive health topics.(2)

Breaking the Ice
Having “The Talk” about health issues is very important – especially
when it comes to a condition like atrial fibrillation (AF) and its link
to stroke.  If you have AF, a serious heart condition, your risk of
stroke is considered three to five times higher than those without AF.(3) Fortunately – with a physician’s help and by taking some practical
steps – you can take action to lower this risk.(4)

“The survey makes it clear that Canadians understand how debilitating
strokes can be, but for whatever reason it seems that they aren’t
talking about AF and stroke with their parents,” says Dr. Frank Silver,
Professor of Medicine (Neurology), University of Toronto.  “We need to
open the lines of communication to encourage Canadians 55 years and
older to proactively raise the topic during their next doctor’s visit
to get checked and if needed, start treatment to reduce their risk.”

To help break the ice, new tools are available at www.StrokeAndAF.ca – an educational resource available to Canadians with information about
AF and stroke.  For Canadians who can’t find the words themselves to
have “The Talk” with their parent(s), they can send a customizable
video featuring a barbershop quartet as a gentle door opener to start
“The Talk”. After all, everything sounds better set to music.  Once
sent, they can refer to the “The Talk” Tip Sheet which provides helpful
advice on how to approach this tricky conversation.

Tongue Tied
When asked which common illnesses they believe would cause the greatest
strain if their parent(s) were diagnosed, strokes (47 per cent) were
the second most common behind cancer (74 per cent).(5)  However, strokes (15 per cent) were last on a list of conditions
Canadians said they’ve talked about with their parents, behind high
blood pressure (41 per cent), cancer (31 per cent) and diabetes (25 per
cent).(6)  What’s even more telling is that more than half of Canadians with
living parents (54 per cent) admit they have never heard of AF(7) and after receiving a definition of AF, most (77 per cent) admitted
they didn’t know that AF leads to an increased risk of stroke.(8)

“Strokes, including those related to AF, can be devastating for the
individual and for their family and friends,” says Ian Joiner,
Director, Stroke, Heart and Stroke Foundation.  “It’s important to get
Canadians talking about AF.  The more people know about AF and its link
to stroke, the greater chance there is of people taking action and
lowering their risk.”

Tips for Starting “The Talk”
To help Canadian adults initiate “The Talk” with their parent(s) about AF and its link to stroke, they
can follow the steps below:

        --  Start early. Knowing that a person's risk of developing AF
            increases with each decade of life beginning at age 55,9 it may
            be best to start the conversation right around that time.
            Better to have "The Talk" than risk them having a stroke and
            wishing they had raised the topic sooner.

        --  Be supportive and understanding. The parent may not know how to
            initiate a discussion about their health for fear of causing
            alarm among their adult children.  What's more, health concerns
            can become more frightening as one ages.  Add to that the
            concept of growing more dependent on your children, and it
            could tongue-tie even the most talkative person.  One way to
            break the ice is to start by the adult child letting their
            parent know how much they care for them - this will help set
            the tone for the conversation and will put them at ease.

        --  Use everyday opportunities to initiate "The Talk." Parents may
            resist a formal talk, so it's good to use everyday
            opportunities as an occasion to start a discussion.  For
            example, while in the car together, adult children can bring up
            a recent website they visited
            (www.StrokeAndAF.ca),
            or television ad they saw about AF, and ask if they've heard
            about it and how it is linked to stroke.  It's also important
            to gently suggest they raise it with their physician the next
            time they are in, as not everyone will experience symptoms of
            AF.

For more tips or to send a customized video to a loved one, Canadians
can visit www.StrokeAndAF.ca.

About AF and Stroke in Canada
Approximately 350,000 Canadians are currently living with AF.(10) People with AF are three to five times more at risk of having a stroke
than those without AF, and twice as likely to die from one.(11) After the age of 55, the incidence of AF doubles with each decade of
life, and if left untreated, it can lead to stroke.(12)  After age 60, one-third of all strokes are caused by AF.(13)

The irregular heartbeat caused by AF, which can be asymptomatic, leads
to the heart pumping less efficiently. Sometimes it can pool and get
stuck in the heart, which may result in the formation of a blood clot.
A clot formed this way can be transported in the blood stream to the
brain where it can cause a stroke.(14) For those who survive a stroke, the disabilities can be significant,
including: paralysis; loss of speech and understanding; effects on the
memory, thought and emotional processes.(15)

According to the Stroke Network, in Canada, stroke is the leading cause
of adult disability and the third leading cause of death(16) with up to 15 per cent of strokes being caused by AF.(17) Stroke costs the Canadian economy approximately $3.6 billion a year in
physician services, hospital costs, lost wages, and decreased
productivity.(18) In the six-month period following a stroke, the direct and indirect
health care cost for each patient is about $50,000.(19) People with non-disabling strokes spend up to $24,000 during the first
six months.(20) The acute period after a stroke accounts for 80 per cent of the overall
six month costs. Families also take on a greater proportion of stroke
related expenses including those associated with care giving,
transportation, and lost income.(21)

About the Survey
The survey was completed online from June 18 – 21, 2012, with a sample
size of 896 Canadians aged 18+ with at least one living parent.  A
probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of
+/-3.0%, 19 times out of 20.

About Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading
pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it
operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 44,000 employees.

Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been
committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel
products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
As a central element of its culture, Boehringer Ingelheim pledges to
act socially responsible. Involvement in social projects, caring for
employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all
employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual
cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and
sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim’s
endeavours.

In 2011, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 13.2 billion euro
while spending almost 24% of net sales in its largest business segment
Prescription Medicines on research and development.

The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in
1972 and the Research and Development Centre located in Laval, Québec,
Canada. Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. is home to more than 750
employees including 170 scientists across the country.

For more information please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.ca

DVNR Coordinates available at:
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2012 at
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References

__________________________
(1) Leger Marketing: Conducted online from June 18th to 21, 2012 using
online panel LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,040 Canadians aged 18+ with a
living parent(s) with a margin of error of +/- 3.0%, 19 times out of
20; page 9
(2) Leger Marketing: Conducted online from June 18th to 21, 2012 using
online panel LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,040 Canadians aged 18+ with a
living parent(s) with a margin of error of +/- 3.0%, 19 times out of
20; page 28
(3) http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.5052981/k.17A/Atrial_fibrillation.htm?src=report Accessed July 4, 2012
(4) http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.5052981/k.17A/Atrial_fibrillation.htm?src=report Accessed July 4, 2012
(5) Leger Marketing: Conducted online from June 18th to 21, 2012 using
online panel LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,040 Canadians aged 18+ with a
living parent(s) with a margin of error of +/- 3.0%, 19 times out of
20; page 19
(6) Leger Marketing: Conducted online from June 18th to 21, 2012 using
online panel LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,040 Canadians aged 18+ with a
living parent(s) with a margin of error of +/- 3.0%, 19 times out of
20; page 15
(7) Leger Marketing: Conducted online from June 18th to 21, 2012 using
online panel LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,040 Canadians aged 18+ with a
living parent(s) with a margin of error of +/- 3.0%, 19 times out of
20; page 43
(8) Leger Marketing: Conducted online from June 18th to 21, 2012 using
online panel LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,040 Canadians aged 18+ with a
living parent(s) with a margin of error of +/- 3.0%, 19 times out of
20; page 46
(9) http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.3581729/k.359A/Statistics.htm Accessed July 4, 2012
(10) http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.5052981/k.17A/Atrial_fibrillation.htm?src=report  Accessed July 4, 2012
(11) http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.5052981/k.17A/Atrial_fibrillation.htm?src=report  Accessed July 4, 2012
(12) http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.3581729/k.359A/Statistics.htm Accessed July 4, 2012
(13) http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.3581729/k.359A/Statistics.htm Accessed July 4, 2012
(14) http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.5052981/k.17A/Atrial_fibrillation.htm?src=report Accessed July 4, 2012
(15) National Institute of Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/poststrokerehab.htm: July 2011. Last accessed March 7, 2012
(16) Canadian Stroke Network.  http://www.canadianstrokenetwork.ca/index.php/about/about-stroke/stroke-101/ (Accessed July 5, 2010)
(17) http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.3581729/k.359A/Statistics.htm
Accessed May 10
, 2012
(18) Track Heart Disease and Stroke in Canada. Public Health Agency of
Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/2009/cvd-avc/pdf/cvd-avs-2009-eng.pdf Last Accessed July 5, 2012.
(19) Mittmann N, Seung S, Sharma M.   Costs of an ischemic stroke patient in
Canada: 6 months. Stroke 2010:41(7):e474
(20) Mittmann N, Seung S, Sharma M.   Costs of an ischemic stroke patient in
Canada: 6 months. Stroke 2010:41(7):e474
(21) Mittmann N, Seung S, Sharma M.   Costs of an ischemic stroke patient in
Canada: 6 months. Stroke 2010:41(7):e474

SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim


Source: PR Newswire