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February is Heart Health Month

Cardiovascular disease affects an estimated 43 million women in the United States, but it can be avoided through education, healthy living and medical screenings. When detected early, contributing factors can be treated, preventing the development of heart disease. Empowering women and men with knowledge will enable them to live healthier lives and make appropriate medical decisions for themselves and their families. According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, during the last three decades heart disease sharply decreased in Israel, similar to the trend in Western countries. However, heart disease is still one of the major causes of death for both men and women in Israel, accounting for 17 percent of Israeli deaths last year.

In a joint effort to empower women around the world and promote wellness and disease prevention, Irene Pollin, MSW, PhD (Hon), founder and chairman of the Sister to Sister Heart Foundation, has funded the Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Institute in Jerusalem, to the Hadassah Medical Organization, dedicated to promoting heart health in women. Dr. Donna Zfat-Zwas is the newly appointed Director of the new institute. The institute is named after Pollin's daughter, Linda Joy, who was born with a congenital heart condition and had two surgeries. Unfortunately, the second surgery was unsuccessful and Linda Joy passed away at the age of sixteen.

The creation of the Pollin Institute in Jerusalem is the first step of what will be an ongoing collaboration between Sister to Sister and Hadassah in Israel, the United States and around the world. Hadassah, HMO and Sister to Sister will join forces to educate and empower women to be heart smart—teaching women about personal risk factors for heart disease and the elements of a heart healthy lifestyle. You can begin by logging on to www.sistertosister.org/myHeartHealth and going to Smart for the Heart, a web-based heart health tool that provides free online health risk assessments, while offering recommendations and resources for making healthier lifestyle choices. Click on the banner at the top of the screen that says "Am I Heart Healthy?".

Learn the risk factors and get Heart Smart today!

Factors you can control:

  • Cholesterol
  • Blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Factors you cannot control:

  • Family history
  • Age

To learn more about the Hadassah's Heart Health program, contact Health and Wellness at programming@hadassah.org or 212-303-8094.

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