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Letter: Take good care of your heart

Wayne Gretzky, like many others among us, knows what it’s like to lose someone suddenly to heart disease or stroke. Last year during the holiday season, Gretzky’s friend, actor Alan Thicke, died from a ruptured aorta while playing hockey with his son.
During the 2017/18 festive season, Wayne added his voice to Heart & Stroke’s heart health campaign to raise awareness of our increased risk for heart disease and stroke at this time of year. Sudden losses like Gretzky’s are far too common and the holiday season, with its cold weather, added stress, and overindulgence in food and alcohol, all contribute to an increase in cardiac events and deaths this time of year.
While we don’t know what caused Thicke’s ruptured aorta, risk factors like high blood pressure and atherosclerosis are often common to both ruptured aortas and heart attacks, and the signs are often similar.

Warning signs may vary from person to person. They may not always be sudden or severe. For more information visit: www.heartandstroke.ca/heart/emergency-signs.
Heart & Stroke, Newfoundland and Labrador, reminds readers to be vigilant about their heart health. Take time to relax, to be kind not only to your family, but also to yourself, keeping in mind that it’s easier to make healthy choices when you’re well-rested.
We send long our sincere best wishes for happiness and good health as this holiday season winds down, and into 2018!

Mary Ann Butt, CEO

Heart & Stroke, NL

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