40th Anniversary Flashback: The First Heart Transplant in Ottawa

To take the sick or damaged heart out of a person’s body and replace it with a healthy donor heart, often flown in from far away—the very idea of a heart transplant inspires wonder. In May 1984, Wilbert Keon, MD, founder of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, performed the first-ever heart

Prescribing Physical Activity: A Call to Action

The health benefits of regular physical activity are well documented and hard to overstate, but too often they are left out of the doctor–patient conversation. In December 2015, JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, published the Viewpoint “ Making Physical Activity Counseling a

Toute une vie consacrée à la recherche du bon rythme

Martin Green, MD, vividly recalls the day in 1971 when he attended a medical school lecture on electrical activation of the heart, a subject that doctors and researchers were just beginning to explore. “There were 225 people in the class and 224 of them walked out saying ‘That was the worst lecture

Helping Patients Stay Connected and Informed

Patient Alumni makes big changes and begins to roll out new services

AHA 2015: Cardiac Resuscitation: New Information on CPR and Defibrillators

More than 32,000 Canadians go into cardiac arrest each year outside of a hospital and more than 90 per cent of them die. In many cases, this is because bystanders didn’t have adequate knowledge of CPR or access to an automated external defibrillator (AED). Guidelines and studies presented at the

AHA 2015: The Lower Your Salt Intake the Better

Canadians eat more salt than is good for them, increasing their risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. The Heart and Stroke Foundation estimates that the average adult Canadian consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium per day (roughly one-and-a-half teaspoons), most of it from processed

AHA 2015: Knowledge of Genetic Risk Can Encourage Increased Prevention

Over the last decade, much has been learned about the genetic risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In the long run, as researchers uncover how variations in these genes lead to heart disease, this knowledge may lead to new preventive drugs and treatments. But in the meantime, doctors have been

AHA 2015: UOHI at the AHA Scientific Sessions

At this year’s premier international gathering for heart disease, the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, sharing expertise was a major aspect of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s presence. In Ask the Expert and seminar sessions, surgeons Marc Ruel, Munir Boodhwani, David

AHA 2015: Intensive Blood Pressure Treatment Shows Benefits

Although most cases of high blood pressure have no easily identifiable cause, the condition’s effects are clear, including increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. The medical consensus is that using medications to lower blood pressure benefits patients, but how low has remained an

What You Should Know about Sugar

Sugar has been getting a lot of negative attention lately. American cities have tried to ban extra-large soft drinks. The Canadian Diabetes Association and some municipalities want a tax imposed on sugar-sweetened beverages. Some articles claim certain kinds of sugar are worse for you than others