February is the month for Valentine’s Day and, appropriately, American Heart Month. A perfect time to give that gift – a gift that can keep you or someone close to you from experiencing the fatal impact of heart disease.
The truth is that 80% of heart disease and stroke events may be prevented through improved awareness and lifestyle changes. Therefore the gift you can give is as simple as educating yourself and others about the warning signs of heart disease and stroke.
To get started, please realize two striking facts from the American Heart Association:
- 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day.
- Cardiovascular disease is the single largest killer of women in the world, claiming the life of one woman every 80 seconds.
Awareness is a gift and the key to changing these facts and figures. For example, few people know that the warning signs of cardiac problems for women are different than those for men. Low awareness means that the first sign of a cardiovascular problem for a woman is her only – and last – warning.
Four years ago, I lost my 49-year-old wife, Shalini, to an unexpected heart attack. I have since dedicated myself to understanding heart disease, and started the Shalini Maripuri Foundation which is dedicated to the awareness, detection, and prevention of heart disease in women.
Improving health outcomes is a driving force behind our work at Nuance. But it’s much more than a worthy business or technology-development goal. It is a deeply personal mission for me, especially when it comes to women’s heart health.
You too can make it your mission to help the loved ones in your life – or maybe even yourself – by learning about the symptoms of heart disease and your family’s health history. Talk to your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers about healthy lifestyle choices and medical checkups – and help spread the message.
Your efforts to do so could be the one simple thing that makes a heartfelt difference – and one gift that could last a lifetime.
For more information, please visit the sites below:
American Heart Association
Women’s Heart Health Alliance
Go Red For Women
The Heart Foundation
The National Institutes of Health “The Heart Truth” program
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Heart Disease Information