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Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) rank as America's #1 killer, responsible for nearly 38 percent of all deaths and directly affecting the lives of 70 million Americans. Nearly 107 million Americans age 20 or older have elevated cholesterol levels, a risk factor for CVD.

These alarming numbers have accelerated the need for decisive action against CVD. In 2002, the American Heart Association (AHA) dedicated $407 million to support research, professional and public education, and community service programs. As one of the leading groups of grant recipients, Duke University medical researchers continue to search for answers to reduce disability and death from heart attack, stroke, and other heart and blood vessel diseases. And while not everyone can join the fight by donning a lab coat, we can all take action by lacing our tennis shoes.

Every year, American Heart Walks occur throughout the country to help the AHA raise money for research, education, and community service programs. This year, the 2005 Triangle-Metro American Heart Walk will kick off on October 16 at the Sheraton Imperial Center in Durham to support the fight against heart disease and stroke. Duke University Health System’s goal is to raise $30,000—that’s $5,000 more than last year.

In addition, a traveling trophy is awarded to the group that raises the most money. Duke was the winner of the trophy in 2003, but lost it in 2004. Our goal is to support a great cause, and as an added bonus, get that trophy back. Only with the support of the community will these goals be met. We encourage everyone to participate in this very important event by walking or sponsoring a walker. Our actions today will mean a healthier future for our friends, family, and children.

Learn more about the event and register: heartwalk.kintera.org/trianglemetronc

Have questions? Please call or e-mail:

Wanda Bride
(919) 681-7242
bride001@mc.duke.edu

Corinne Miller
(919) 681-7241
louisemi@msn.com

Leatrice Martin Short
(919) 681-5031
marti088@mc.duke.edu