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2007 May 17 Release.
For Immediate Release.
Contact: Bonnie Arkus (609) 771-9600


National Stroke Awareness Month and National Women's Health Week are being used as platforms to educate and inspire women

TRENTON, NJ - Mahmood I. Siddique, DO, FACP, FCCP, FAASM, will be the featured presenter at the 4th Annual RUN FOR YOUR HEART 5K, to take place Saturday, May 26 (Memorial Day weekend) at Mercer County Park, New Jersey, starting at 8:00 A.M.

"Heart disease is women's #1 killer. Health-conscious women need to come together for this heart walk so that we can speak loudly and with one voice to make a difference in our own healthcare", said Bonnie Arkus, WHF Executive Director and Founder. "We are using National Women's Health Week May 13 - 19 and National Stroke Awareness Month as platforms to raise awareness and to educate women. This is a great family event to celebrate the Memorial holiday weekend. We want to encourage women to make health a priority. We want women to know that should they experience sleep disturbance or any signs of stroke, they need to take action and make an appointment with their healthcare professional for follow up. Prevention and early screenings are essential to health", she said. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke warning signs include sudden onset of numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body; confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; trouble with vision in one or both eyes; trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and severe headache with no known cause.

"Many women don't realize that stroke kills more women then men. It is the second leading cause of disability in women, chronic depression being number one” said Dr. Siddique. “Treating sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, can prevent stroke. Sleep deprivation contributes to weight gain as well as depression. Each woman needs to advocate to get the correct diagnosis and proper treatment," he said. Dr. Siddique is Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Medical Director of the Sleep Care Center at RWJ Hamilton.

The event highlights National Women's Health Week May 13-19, an educational initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) Office on Women's Health, and the WOMAN Challenge - an eight-week walking program. There are currently 42,080 people and 2,572 teams participating. WHF will provide a free WOMAN Challenge sun visor to any woman who attends RUN FOR YOUR HEART and presents a completed registration form for the Challenge. The WOMAN Challenge website is www.healthwomen.gov. The WOMAN Challenge launches annually on Mother's Day - the first day of National Women's Health Week.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is a presenting sponsor, contributing $5,000 to the day's event, along with Region II Office on Women's Health. Other sponsors include Roma Bank and New Marketing with in-kind support from The Times, Packet Publications, Wegmans of Princeton, NJDEP and the Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health and Wellness.

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. for the 5k Run/Walk and for the one-mile Family Health Walk. The Health Walk starts at 9:15 a.m.; the 5K RUN at 10:00 a.m. There will be children’s face-painting and other activities including a jewelry sale with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the WHF. The Awards ceremony will take place immediately after the Race. The first 200 registrants will receive a free T-Shirt. The pre-registration fee is $18 at www.PracticeHard.com or you can download registration forms at www.WomensHeart.org Prizes will be presented to the top male and female finishers and to the top corporate team with largest number of registered participants. L&M Sports will officiate the scoring and timing and Baldasari, the race management.

The Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is dedicated to making health care work by improving the health care experience for its members and the communities they serve.

The Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) is dedicated to improved survival and quality of life through the development of wellness programs that work for women. WHF is the only Non-Governmental Organization that implements demonstration projects for the prevention of heart disease and has received national recognition for its Women's Heart Week©, Teen Esteem© and Medication Safety© programs. In 2006, the Teen Esteem Health and Fitness program at Trenton Central High School was featured at an international conference as a gender-specific approach to teen girls' wellness. Since 2002, the program has been studied by a research team from the Rutgers University -Camden as an intervention model for effecting healthy lifestyle choices in adolescent girls. The WHF stresses the fact that heart disease is not just a man's disease. A woman dies every minute from heart disease. One of three American women will succumb. Early warning signs of both stroke and heart attack present with sudden onset of flu-like symptoms. All studies point to the critical need for a gender-specific intervention model that includes wellness. WHF is pulling together government, corporate, public health, insurers and the medical communities to address women's heart disease issues Receiving a timely diagnosis and access to appropriate care is a basic human right and the Foundation is working to resolve disparities in women's heart care and poorer outcomes. For more information, contact the Women's Heart Foundation by email: info@womensheart.org.

Note: The WHF is releasing a series of articles on sleep disturbances and health in its monthly e-Newsletter, starting this May. Go to WomensHeart.org e-News archive and click on the May edition.

For more information about the RUN, contact the Women's Heart Foundation at (609) 771-9600 or go to www.womensheart.org and download a flyer or registration form, or for online registration, go to www.PracticeHard.com.




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