09.29.16 By Sanofi Le Hub
The World Heart Federation’s ‘World Heart Day’ is marked around the world today, September 29. It’s a chance to raise awareness of cardiovascular diseases and encourage people to lead healthier lives.
Cardiovascular diseases kill 17.5 million people each year, with 80% of these deaths due to heart attacks and strokes. It’s the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 31% of all deaths.
Despite its prevalence, however, it’s possible to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases with a few key lifestyle changes. For example, just 30 minutes of exercise every day, along with a healthy diet made up of the five food groups can help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Reducing salt intake, quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol can also help.
Sanofi is committed to the fight against cardiovascular diseases, and has been developing innovative treatments in this field since 1937. Most recently, the company’s cardiovascular research teams have been working on groundbreaking treatments for cardiomyopathies, genetic diseases that affect the heart muscle.
Extensive research and development has also gone into treating familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited form of high cholesterol that can lead to cardiovascular diseases.
To coincide with World Heart Day and as part of the company’s ‘Take Down Cholesterol’ campaign, Sanofi has supported Heart Felt, a film documenting the lives of people ‘living in the shadow of high LDL cholesterol’ or low-density lipoprotein. LDL cholesterol is the ‘bad’ cholesterol that can lead to the clogging of arteries and cardiovascular diseases.
The film journeys around the world to speak to people from different walks of life who are all facing similar challenges.
Geoff Noble lives in London in the United Kingdom. He had a heart attack in August 2007 despite leading a healthy, active life. This is his story.
Philippe Cypres lives in Paris, France. He and his sister both inherited familial hypercholesterolemia, but their little brother did not. Philippe is now father to a baby boy who has a 50% chance of developing the condition.
Katherine Wilemon lives in Pasadena in California, USA. She started having symptoms of familial hypercholesterolemia when she was just 15, and now campaigns to raise awareness about the condition.
Cardiovascular diseases can affect anyone – even healthy, active people can be affected by a genetic condition like familial hypercholesterolemia.
Continuing to raise awareness of cardiovascular diseases is key to improving outcomes worldwide. Only through community awareness and education can we promote early diagnosis, and encourage people to combine lifestyle changes with effective blood pressure and cholesterol management to help reverse the danger that cardiovascular diseases poses worldwide.
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