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AstraZeneca Leads Local Walking Movement

- Wilmington Employees Start! Lacing Up Their Walking Shoes -

WILMINGTON, Del., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AstraZeneca continues its fight against sedentary lifestyles by participating in the American Heart Association (AHA)'s Start! movement in Wilmington to promote walking and other healthy habits in the workplace. AstraZeneca employees in their hometown of Wilmington have formed a Start! "walkforce" team to participate in today's Wilmington Start! Heart Walk at Chase Center Riverfront. Start! encourages Americans and their employers to live longer, stronger and healthier lives by engaging in regular physical activity. AstraZeneca is one of three national sponsors of Start! and has been recognized as a leader for supporting innovative corporate wellness initiatives.

"Because heart disease is the nation's number-one killer and a leading cause of death in Delaware, we continue to build on AstraZeneca's strong legacy in cardiovascular treatments by leading this movement to help the Wilmington community get moving," said David Nicoli, AstraZeneca Vice President Corporate Affairs and the company's Wilmington Start! leader. "As a healthcare company dedicated to improving the lives of people globally, the job starts locally with our own employees. We challenge other corporations in our community to join us as part of the Start! movement and make a commitment to wellness."

AstraZeneca is also the national sponsor of the Create Hope Community, part of the Heart Healthy festivities following the Wilmington Start! Heart Walk. The exhibit provides walkers with an interactive and personalized health experience, offers free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, educational health information, and tools to promote healthier lifestyles.

AstraZeneca encourages employees to incorporate exercise into their workday with lunch time walking programs and access to onsite fitness facilities. At its U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, the company has built indoor and outdoor walking paths and offers employees nutritious food options in the cafeterias on campus, as well as the availability of nutrition counselors.

Heart disease is the number-one killer in the United States(1), and physical inactivity may increase a person's heart disease risk(2). Moreover, heart disease is the number one killer in Delaware accounting for more than 29% of the state's deaths in 2001 (the most recent year for which data are available)(3). Walking is one of the simplest ways people can improve their heart health - it's free, it has the lowest drop-out rate of any physical activity and just one hour a day can add two hours to a person's life(4). Furthermore, American employers pay an estimated $225.8 billion each year in health-related productivity losses. Incorporating walking into every work day can help change these alarming statistics, while also helping contain rising health care costs.

About Start!

Start! Walking Program is the American Heart Association's ground-breaking national movement that calls on all Americans and their employers to promote a culture of physical activity and health in order to live longer, healthier lives. Through the Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Recognition Program, AHA recognizes employers who champion the health of their employees and work to create a culture of physical activity and health in the workplace. The program recognizes and rewards companies for progressive leadership and for making the health and wellness of their staff a priority. The program is also meant to encourage other companies to participate and demonstrate similar physical activity practices for their employees. For a list of recognized companies, visit

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $26.47 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $12.44 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. For nearly three decades, AstraZeneca has offered drug assistance programs side by side with its medicines, and over the past five years, has provided over $3 billion in savings to more than 1 million patients throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. AstraZeneca has been named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine and is the only large pharmaceutical company named to FORTUNE magazine's 2007 list of "100 Best Companies to Work For." In 2006, for the fifth consecutive year, Science magazine named AstraZeneca a "Top Employer" on its ranking of the world's most respected biopharmaceutical employers.

To join AstraZeneca and the American Heart Association for the Wilmington Start! Heart Walk, please e-mail: To learn more about AstraZeneca, visit

(1) American Heart Association. Heart Disease Facts. accessed on 11.19.06

(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention DHDSP - Heart Disease Risk Factors. accessed on 4.26.07

(3) Chronic Diseases: The Leading Causes of Death: Delaware Profiling the Leading Causes of Death in the United States Heart Disease, Stroke and Cancer htm,accessed on 8.07.07

(4)American Heart Association. Moving for Individuals. accessed on 11.18.06

SOURCE AstraZeneca
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