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Hundreds of Heart Disease and Stroke Survivors Urge Congress to Step Up the Fight Against the Nation's No. 1 Killer
Date:4/29/2008

American Heart Association advocates call on lawmakers to support research and prevention

WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With risk factors for heart disease and stroke steadily increasing, youth advocates, heart and stroke survivors and researchers from across the country today urged Congress to make a commitment to save lives. They met with their representatives for the American Heart Association's (AHA) Congressional Lobby Day, You're the Cure on the Hill 2008, to boost funding for research and prevention programs to fight cardiovascular diseases, the nation's No. 1 killer. AHA President Daniel Jones, M.D., President-Elect Timothy Gardner, M.D., CEO M. Cass Wheeler and Board Chairman Gary Ellis also met with House and Senate leadership.

"If we hope to find a cure for cardiovascular diseases, our elected officials must support a strong and sustained investment in research and prevention," said Daniel W. Jones, M.D., President of the American Heart Association. "Recent studies point to a surge in obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure -- risk factors for heart disease and stroke. We must ramp up efforts to educate Americans and policymakers about the need to prevent disease before it strikes."

Nearly 2,400 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of one death every 37 seconds. Although the death rate for cardiovascular disease has moved downward, risk factors are on the upswing. For example, two-out-of-three U.S. adults are overweight; one-out-of-three is obese. The number of overweight children ages 6-11 has more than quadrupled in the past 30 years. More than 46 million adults smoke daily and about 4,000 people ages 12-17 begin smoking every day.

More than 600 advocates called on their representatives to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and the CDC's Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program and cosponsor the Fitness Integrated with Teaching (FIT) Kids Act, l
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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