There's nothing like a jaunty babershop quartet to break the news that you might be at risk for a heart condition that causes strokes.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common condition for people over 55 that causes the heart to beat too quickly and puts folks at an increased risk of stroke. Some 350,000 Canadians suffer from it, though many don't know it.
That could change with the help four singing men in bright red vests and bow ties, who croon such lyrics as, "Well hello my dear, your son sent us here so we could break the iiiiice, 'cause there's condition, atrial fibrillation, could appear at your age in liiiiife."
The lyrics on the YouTube videos, part of a campaign by pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, are somewhat customizable.
The video can be from a son or a daughter, and make reference to their parents living long to enjoy their sports, movies, art, books or music.
The quartet always ends off by encouraging the recipient to check out the website StrokeAndAF.ca to learn about the condition and talk to their doctors.
A Leger Marketing poll connected to the campaign found that 60% of Canadian adults who live with their parents avoid talking to them about health issues.
Asked which illness would cause the most strain if their parents were diagnosed with it, 47% said stroke, second only to cancer. Yet, 54% had never heard of AF, which makes a person three to five times more likely to have a stroke.
"Strokes, including those related to AF, can be devastating for the individual and for their family and friends," Ian Joiner of the Heart and Stroke Foundation said in a press release.
"It's important to get Canadians talking about AF. The more people know about AF and its link to stroke, the greater chance there is of people taking action and lowering their risk."