Metabolic Syndrome Clinic at St. Paul's Hospital a Success

Vancouver, April 10, 2008 — One in four Canadians suffer from metabolic syndrome, a combination of risk factors including excess abdominal fat that can increase their risk of serious heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. The Metabolic Syndrome Program located within Vancouver’s St Paul’s Hospital, has established a positive, innovative approach that’s helping British Columbians reduce their risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. The clinic was established with the support of a $1.6 million donation from pharmaceutical partner AstraZeneca Canada.
Cardiovascular disease is the third leading cause of premature death for those under 75, while diabetes is a contributing factor in the deaths of approximately 41,500 Canadians each year. As a provincial referral centre that opened its doors in 2006, the St. Paul’s clinic was the first of its kind in Canada. Since then, the Metabolic Syndrome Program has established itself as a centre of excellence where a specialized team of physicians and health care professionals develop individual treatment methods for patients. Hosting the inaugural Western Cardiometabolic Summit on April 12th reflects the innovative reputation the clinic has already established within the medical community.

“The goal of this Program is to set the standard for appropriate Metabolic Syndrome care in Canada and around the world,” says Dr. Andrew Ignaszewski, co-founder of the BC Metabolic Syndrome Program at St. Paul’s Hospital and Division Head of Cardiology at St. Paul’s/Providence Health Care. “Our 18-month program provides both individual and group support to B.C. residents with metabolic syndrome. Our activities – and core philosophy – focus on helping individuals set achievable goals and work through their personal challenges to achieve healthy lifestyle changes.”

Program staff also recognize the importance of strong community-based support networks to both the success of patients and the program itself. “The foundation of the program is a commitment to delivering integrated, world-class healthcare and lifestyle management services to our patients,” says Dr. Sammy Chan, Medical Director of the BC Metabolic Syndrome Program at St. Paul’s Hospital. “When we work with committed partners, and we think openly and strategically about how to deliver these services, it is the residents of B.C. that benefit.”

Patients of the B.C. Metabolic Syndrome Program are the greatest ambassadors of the clinic’s success. “Coming to this program here at St. Paul’s made me feel hopeful for the first time in a long while. I felt like I could finally get a handle on my health and be in control of what happens to me,” says Iva Fisher. “With the team at St. Paul’s behind me, I have lost over 40 pounds and have learned how to manage my metabolic syndrome. I feel strong and am looking forward to a long and healthy life.”

The Metabolic Syndrome Program is striving to establish metabolic syndrome risk reduction programs in community centres to help people across BC make healthy lifestyle changes.

“It’s extremely rewarding for AstraZeneca to be able to support a program that has made such an impact on the lives of so many people in British Columbia,” said Leslie Foord, Senior Manager, External Relations, British Columbia. “This program is another example of the tremendous innovation that exists in British Columbia and we’re proud to have been able to support it,” added Foord.

About the BC Metabolic Syndrome Clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital
Part of the Healthy Heart Program within the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul’s Hospital, the Metabolic Syndrome Clinic and program provides comprehensive care of patients with metabolic syndrome. The goal is to reduce the features of metabolic syndrome through intensive lifestyle intervention and self-management support. The program offered to patients consists of both individual and group sessions with a multidisicplinary team.

About AstraZeneca Canada
AstraZeneca is a leading global pharmaceutical company with an extensive product portfolio spanning six major therapeutic areas: gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, infection, neuroscience, oncology, and respiratory. AstraZeneca's Canadian headquarters and packaging facilities are located in Mississauga, Ontario, with a state-of-the-art drug discovery centre based in Montreal, Quebec. For more information, visit the company's website at www.astrazeneca.ca.

For further information please contact:

Nicholas Schulz, Fleishman-Hillard Canada Inc.
416-598-5799
nicholas.schulz@fleishman.ca

Leah Lockhart, Providence Health Care
604-806-8882
llockhart@providencehealth.bc.ca