Opportunities - Preventing Heart Attacks in Alberta

Preventing Heart Attacks in Alberta

Alberta Health Services



Heart disease is a leading cause of death in Alberta and responsible for approximately 19% of all deaths in the province. The number of people with heart disease is expected to increase in future years. Fortunately, there are ways for people to prevent heart disease and reduce their chance of having heart attacks. The four key interventions are: eating healthy, exercising, quitting smoking, and drinking less alcohol. There is also a medication that can be taken that lowers a person’s risk of heart disease by lowering their cholesterol. Our project is trying to prevent Albertans from having heart attacks by identifying people that are at risk and treating them with appropriate medications. The project will also empower patients by providing them with information about their risk.

To do this, we will implement a screening tool in primary care that can be used to identify patients that are at risk for having a heart attack. The Framingham Risk Score (FRS) is calculated based on four questions and a patient’s cholesterol scores. The result is a percent chance that the patient will have a heart attack in the next 10 years. Patients that are at risk for having a heart attack should be prescribed a statin medication and make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk. Patients’ FRS screening results will go into MyHealthRecords which will allow patients to see and track the FRS. Also, through their FRS test results they will be linked to educational materials to better understand their risk and how to reduce it.


Roles and Responsibilities

We are looking for patients to review some health education materials (i.e. website content and videos) and provide feedback on appropriateness of the materials. This includes:

1) A 1-hour meeting (online) to introduce the project and explain the materials to review;

2) Patients will review materials on their own time at home (approx. 1-3 hours); and

3) a 2-hour focus group to discuss and provide feedback on the materials.


Time Commitment

All 3 activities for this project will be completed  (online) in May, 2021 and include a total of 5-6 hours.



An honorarium will be provided in line with AbSPORU guidelines.


Contact Information

Jennifer Terpstra