Closer to the heart

Closer to the heart

A national network of experts saves health care costs by improving the treatment and prevention of Canada’s deadliest diseases
May 28, 2013

Every seven minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke. These cardiovascular diseases are two of the three leading causes of death in this country, and cost the economy more than $20.9 billion annually in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity.

However, Jean-Claude Tardif, a Université de Montréal professor and director of the Research Centre at the Montreal Heart Institute, has helped improve awareness, diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerotic disease, the most common cause of cardiovascular disease through the Canadian Atherosclerosis Imaging Network (CAIN).

Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries due to a buildup of plaque. This buildup is the result of high levels of cholesterol, fat and calcium in the blood. Over time, the plaque thickens the artery walls, restricting blood and potentially causing heart attacks, strokes and other symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

This national network of more than 600 physicians, scientists and imaging centres provides more efficient screening and enhanced assessment of a patient’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease to improve methods of prevention and treatment. So far more than 2,000 patients have successfully undergone various testing, clinical trials and treatments.

Benefiting from partnerships with Hoffman-Laroche, Cerenis Therapeutics, Volcano and Siemens, CAIN is one of the most advanced imaging networks for the evaluation of atherosclerotic disease. As the only multidisciplinary network of its kind in the world, CAIN is helping Canada build its international reputation in matters of the heart.

Originally posted January 18, 2013