Michael F. Easley

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Carmen Hooker Odom

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: February 14, 2007

  Contact: Carol Schriber

Legislative Heart Health Day focuses attention on preventing heart disease and stroke

RALEIGH – State legislators and others learned how to “Save Your Sweet Heart” during the 6th Legislative Heart Health Day in Raleigh Feb. 14.

Hosted every two years by the Justus-Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force, Legislative Heart Health Day is intended to raise awareness about the number-one and number-three killers of North Carolinians—heart disease and stroke.

The preliminary findings and recommendations of the newly formed Stroke Advisory Council were released during the event. The report will be posted on the Web at www.startwithyourheart.com beginning Feb. 15.

Legislative Heart Health Day also featured cardiovascular screenings, health counseling, hands-on activities, a healthy lunch, and exhibits from health care providers, local health departments and other partner organizations from across the state. Attendees had the chance to meet Jared Fogle, Subway?’s “weight-loss hero” who was there to inspire others to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by losing weight and becoming more physically active.

“We are committed to leading the effort to prevent heart disease and stroke in our state,” said Senator Bill Purcell, chairman of the Task Force. “The Legislative Heart Health Day is an excellent reminder to take care of our hearts so that our hearts will take care of us.”

Participants were asked to wear red as part of the American Heart Association’s national “Go Red for Women” campaign to raise awareness of women’s risk for heart disease. “Many people are surprised to learn that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women as well as men,” said Anita Holmes, executive director of the Task Force and head of the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Branch of the N.C. Division of Public Health. “Men still certainly need to be concerned about their risk, but we wanted this event to shine some light on the fact that women are also at risk.”

The Justus-Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force was established by the Legislature in 1995 to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease through education and prevention activities. “Save Your Sweet Heart” is one of its many initiatives helping North Carolinians learn how to prevent cardiovascular disease. For more information about the Task Force and preventing heart disease and stroke, visit www.startwithyourheart.com.


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Debbie Crane