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American Heart Association Ranks America's Most Heart Friendly Cities for Women

(EMAILWIRE.COM, May 20, 2008 ) DALLAS -- Heart disease, the No. 1 killer
of women, may hit closer to home than many realize. Today, the American Heart
Association's Go Red For Women movement released a study, conducted by
Sperling's BestPlaces, revealing the nation's 10 most -- and least -- heart
friendly cities for women. Minneapolis-St. Paul took the title of Most Heart
Friendly City For Women with the lowest cardiac mortality rate for women, low
hypertension rates and highest exercise rates. Nashville, on the other hand,
finished at the bottom of the rankings with high obesity and smoking rates.
Based on the heart friendly benefits cities have to offer their residents
and the personal lifestyle choices of its residents, Go Red For Women and
BestPlaces found the following Heart Friendly rankings:

Most Heart friendly Cities for Women
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN
2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC
3. San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland, CA
4. Denver-Aurora, CO
5. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA
6. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
7. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR
8. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
10. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Least Heart friendly Cities for Women
1. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, TN
2. St. Louis, MO
3. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
4. Pittsburgh, PA
5. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
6. Columbus, OH
7. Cincinnati-Middletown, OH
8. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
9. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH
10. Indianapolis, IN

"Go Red For Women engaged in this study to help women better understand
how personal health and environmental risk factors influence heart disease,"
said Mary Ann Bauman, MD, American Heart Association national spokesperson.
She is also Medical Director for Women's Health and Community Relations,
INTEGRIS health, INC. "Our goal is that individual residents, communities at
large and government officials can use this information to help create socio-
political change at the grassroots level as well as educate women on their
personal risk for heart disease."
The study focused on the 200 largest metro areas in the United States,
which are home to nearly 75% of the nation's population. The research analyzed
22 factors for each location including smoking, obesity, cardiac mortality
rate and regular exercise amongst women.

Fast Facts:
-- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Boston and Phoenix reported the lowest female
cardiac mortality rates in the country; Detroit, Nashville and St.
Louis reported the highest.
-- San Francisco, Denver and Los Angeles were the thinnest mega metros;
Cleveland, San Antonio and Columbus were among the most overweight.
-- Our nation's capital, Washington, D.C., reported the lowest stress
ratings of all the mega metros while Portland, OR reported the highest
stress levels in the category.
-- Generally, California and Colorado cities scored well in the Heart
Friendly Cities study; the metros that scored the lowest in the study
were found in the South and Midwest.

The Importance of Heart Disease Awareness and Personal Risk Assessment
"With the release of this study, Go Red For Women seeks to build heart
health awareness across the country and in every woman's own backyard," said
Bauman. "As long as women remain unaware that heart disease is their No. 1
killer, that statistic is not likely to change. With this knowledge the
American Heart Association hopes every woman will take action to reduce their
personal risk."

Other alarming heart health statistics include:
-- One in three adult women has one or more forms of cardiovascular
disease.
-- Cardiovascular disease kills approximately 460,000 women per year,
approximately one woman per minute.
-- More women die of cardiovascular disease than the next five causes of
death combined, including cancer.

Heart Friendly Tips ... No Matter Where You Live
Regardless of where your city falls on the list, cardiovascular disease is
the No. 1 killer of women in all 50 states. Living in a heart friendly city
does not automatically make you heart healthy, and the reverse is also true.
Whether you live in Denver or Detroit, your heart is in your hands. Heart
disease is largely preventable if you work to lower your risks by making
changes to your everyday lifestyle.
There are some basic steps you can take to make a positive impact on your
health, your family's health and your city's status on the list. Start by
visiting www.GoRedForWomen.org to get your "Go Red Heart Style Guide" with
actionable plans, tips, recipes, a free magazine subscription and more to help
you live a heart healthy lifestyle.

Here are some simple ways you can be heart healthy, regardless of your
area code:
-- Eat healthy! Learn the basics about a heart healthy diet with Go Red
tools and tips for balanced nutrition, delicious recipes and more.
-- Get Physically Active! Regular, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
improves cardiovascular fitness and helps reduce risk of heart disease
and stroke. You can incorporate physical activity into your daily
routines with Choose To Move, a 12-week physical activity and nutrition
program that can be customized to fit every lifestyle. Register at
www.GoRedForWomen.org .
-- Know your numbers! Tracking blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and
weight numbers can help you to keep them in a healthy range. To learn
more about your 10-year personal risk for heart disease, take the Go
Red For Women Heart CheckUp at www.GoRedForWomen.org .
-- Build Community! Join the Go Red For Women online community to share
heart health stories and connect with women who share a passion for
women's heart health nationwide.
-- Make A Difference! Support the HEART For Women Act and other policies
to help make our nation's cities heart healthier for all. Visit
www.GoRedForWomen.org to access tools to help you communicate directly
with members of Congress.

The American Heart Association recognizes that disparities exist within
each city due to variances in access to medical care, race, socio-economic
status and neighborhood structure. Even if your city falls at the top of the
list, specific challenges may affect your city's residents differently.
Remember that everyone can use the "Go Red Heart Style Guide" to create a
personal action plan -- - no matter where you call home.
For more information about Go Red For Women, the Go Red Style Guide or to
see where your city ranked, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org .

About Go Red For Women
Since 2004, Go Red For Women has captured the energy, passion and
intelligence of women to work collectively to wipe out heart disease - the No.
1 killer of women. We want millions of women across America to take heart
disease personally. Go Red For Women engages women and the men who love them
to embrace the cause. Healthcare providers, celebrities and politicians also
elevate the cause and spread the word about women and heart disease. For more
information about Go Red For Women, please call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-
3278) or visit GoRedForWomen.org . The movement is nationally sponsored by
Macy's and Merck & Co., Inc.

About the American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation's
oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building
healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. These diseases, America's
No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim nearly
870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2006-07 the association invested more
than $554 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and
community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives.
To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org .

About Sperling's BestPlaces
For nearly 20 years, Bert Sperling has been helping people find their own
"Best Place." As the foremost creator of these studies, his work appears in
national media nearly every month. His firm, Sperling's BestPlaces, puts facts
about cities and living in the hands of the public, so they can make better
decisions about best places to live, work, retire, play or relocate.

About the Study Methodology
The research analyzed 22 factors for each location in the following
categories:
-- Risk indicators - factors that may lead to heart disease (predictive)
-- Health status - metrics that indicate the current state of heart health
(present day)
-- Heart disease statistics - measurement of heart disease in the
population (mortality)

Sources will be available on www.GoRedForWomen.org on May 19.
TM Go Red trademark of AHA, Red Dress trademark of DHHS
SOURCE American Heart Association



American Heart Association
Maritza Santibáñez
+1-312-240-2724
maritza.santibanez@edelman.com

Source: EmailWire.com


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