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WomenHeart Celebrates American Heart Month With Heart Promises Campaign
Date:2/9/2009

Pledge to Improve Your Heart Health Through Proper Oral Care

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- During February's American Heart Month, women throughout the U.S. will be making personal pledges to improve their heart health. To help support this national initiative and promote heart health awareness, WomenHeart has partnered with Colgate-Palmolive to launch the Heart Promises campaign.

Heart Promises will focus on empowering women by providing the knowledge and tools needed to make positive lifestyle changes to help reduce their risk of heart disease. The campaign's online resource, www.HealthyMouthHealthyBody.com, is specifically designed to educate women about the role that proper oral care can play in improving their heart health. While everyone needs to take care of their oral health, proper oral care is particularly important for women as female hormones can lead to a higher risk of gum disease. For instance, changes in hormone levels due to puberty, pregnancy, and menopause cause women to be at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease -- a serious form of gum disease associated with tooth loss and other health conditions. Heart disease and severe gum disease have a number of common risk factors, suggesting that they may also share a causal or directional relationship.

"A growing body of research suggests an association between severe gum disease and certain serious health conditions, such as heart disease -- the number one cause of death in U.S. women," said Altagracia Chavez, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon with the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, Cleveland, Ohio, and member of WomenHeart's Scientific Advisory Council. "It's important for physicians to talk with their patients about all aspects of their health and steps they can take to maintain a healthy lifestyle -- and that includes helping them prevent oral health problems."

Visitors of www.HealthyMouthHealthyBody.com are also invited to take WomenHeart's Heart Promises pledge -- an online forum that encourages women to take ownership of their heart health by taking a few simple and manageable heart-friendly steps. These steps include speaking with both their dentist and primary care physician to develop an individualized plan to reduce their risk of heart disease and making small yet important changes in their daily lives to take on a healthier lifestyle.

"With the hectic schedules of today's women, whose own well-being is often neglected due to time spent taking care of both children and parents, finding the time to tend to healthcare needs can seem overwhelming," said Carrie Loveless, heart attack survivor and patient spokesperson for WomenHeart. "But what many people do not realize is that you can take a few simple steps toward a healthier lifestyle. One easy way is to use an antibacterial toothpaste that fights germs and helps keep your gums healthy, like Colgate Total."

WomenHeart's Scientific Advisory Council wants women to know...

  • More women than men die each year of heart disease
  • Women can lower their risk of heart disease by as much as 82% just by leading a healthy lifestyle
  • By taking a few simple steps a day, like brushing with an antibacterial and fluoride toothpaste, women can not only improve their oral health, but may also help maintain their heart health
  • Heart disease and severe gum disease have a number of common risk factors, which suggests there may be a relationship between the two
  • Female hormones can lead to a higher risk of gum disease
  • Gingivitis, an early form of periodontal disease, affects approximately 75% of adults in the U.S.
  • Up to 30% of American adults suffer from severe forms of periodontal disease

To learn more about the association between heart health and oral health, please visit www.HealthyMouthHealthyBody.com.

About WomenHeart

WomenHeart is the only national, patient-centered organization dedicated solely to advancing women's heart health through advocacy, community education and patient support. A nonprofit advocacy organization, WomenHeart is a community of women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. For more information about WomenHeart, visit www.WomenHeart.org.

About Colgate Total(R) Toothpaste

The patented formula of Colgate Total(R) toothpaste is clinically proven to actively fight germs for 12 hours. Colgate Total(R) toothpaste has an antibacterial formula and is the only toothpaste both approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and accepted by the American Dental Association, to fight gingivitis. Using Colgate Total(R) toothpaste can promote better oral health and better oral health may help improve overall health. Colgate Total(R) is approved by the FDA to aid in the prevention of cavities, plaque and gingivitis and is the number one toothpaste recommended most by dentists and hygienists. It has not been approved for the prevention or treatment of periodontitis or other diseases. For more information about Colgate Total(R) toothpaste, visit www.ColgateTotal.com.

About Colgate-Palmolive Company

Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer products company, tightly focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. Colgate-Palmolive sells its products in over 200 countries and territories around the world under such internationally recognized brand names as Colgate, Palmolive, Mennen, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sorriso, Kolynos, Elmex, Tom's of Maine, Ajax, Axion, Soupline, and Suavitel, as well as Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet. For more information about Colgate-Palmolive's global business, visit the Company's web site at www.Colgate.com.

Colgate-Palmolive has provided funding and additional assistance to WomenHeart for the "Heart Promises" campaign.

    Susan Laine
    WomenHeart
    (202) 728-7199
    slaine@womenheart.org

    Stephanie Clark
    Colgate-Palmolive Co.
    (212) 310-2774
    Stephanie_Clark@colpal.com

    Amy Burstyn
    Cohn & Wolfe
    (212) 537-8201
    amy.burstyn@cohnwolfe.com


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SOURCE WomenHeart
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