World Heart Federation
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UNILEVER AND THE WORLD HEART FEDERATION RENEW THEIR PARTNERSHIP AND LAUNCH “HEART AGE” TOOL

On 9 June 2009, Unilever and the World Heart Federation announced the renewal of their partnership and a joint initiative to promote awareness of Heart Age - a new, personally motivating way of expressing an individual’s risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

President of the World Heart Federation, Professor Pekka Puska, stated, “If Heart Age can engage individuals and motivate them to change their diet and lifestyle for the better, no matter what their level of risk, then this could be a breakthrough in the global effort towards improved CVD prevention, which could save hundreds of thousands of lives and sparing many more the misery of heart disease and stroke.”

Heart Age, based on the well-established and highly respected Framingham Risk Score, uses standard risk factors for heart disease or stroke (such as age, weight, gender, cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking) to estimate an individual’s “Heart Age”, which could be higher than their chronological age if personal cardiovascular disease risk factors are high. 

This could be a powerful way for health professionals to help motivate people, at all levels of risk, to make the behavioural changes needed to keep their hearts healthier for longer. 

Unilever has built on the concept of Heart Age and developed an accurate and simple online tool to enable people to find out their own Heart Age and for health professionals to better engage their patients in their own heart health. 

Unilever’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Polman, said the company will track and share information on progress by publishing data at regular intervals for the benefit of the wider heart health community. It is intended that the Heart Age Tool will also be available for doctors to use in patient communications.  

Paul Polman commented: “We are excited by the potential for Heart Age, combined with our consumer-friendly Heart Age Tool, to make a real difference in motivating people to look after their heart. We are indebted to the World Heart Federation for their strong support for this Heart Age initiative, and to individuals and organizations whose expert collaboration has made it possible. We should all remember that behind every statistic contained in our Heart Age Report is a person, a family and a community who could be helped through our combined efforts to reduce the devastating impact of heart disease or stroke”.   

Over 2 million people have taken the Heart Age test to date.  This has given Unilever the confidence to focus its heart health consumer awareness and education efforts on a specific goal: to motivate 100 million people worldwide to take the Heart Age test and to encourage diet and lifestyle changes that will lower elevated Heart Ages in this group by three years, on average, by 2020. 

To try out the Heat Age tool yourself please visit www.heartagecalculator.com

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