Aug 31, 2007


​“Know your numbers and be heart smart” is the message for Heart Awareness Month (HAM) during September.  HAM is a national awareness campaign co-ordinated by the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA (HSFSA) - its purpose is to create awareness of cardiovascular disease and its prevention. 

“Heart disease affects people of all ages, races and genders”, says Michelle Kearney, Director of Communications. “During HAM we make every effort to create awareness of the risk factors associated with heart disease and to remind everyone to have their cholesterol and blood pressure tested, as they are known as the ‘silent killers’ because there are no visible symptoms.”

“The focus areas for Heart Awareness Month are Women & Heart Disease, Healthy Eating & Nutrition, and Stroke”, says Kearney.

Heart disease amongst women is growing at an alarming rate and has become the Number 1 killer of women in America, South Africa is not far behind. “It is with these alarming facts in mind that we launched the international Go Red for Women campaign, aimed directly at increasing awareness of prevention and recognition of the disease in women.” 

Healthy eating and nutrition affects all of us, with 17% of South African children between the ages of 1-9 years old being overweight(1). At the same time as many as 19% are stunted because of insufficient food intake. Parents play a vital role in helping children control weight and reducing their risk of heart disease and stroke later in life. Recognising parents’ influence  not only in families but beyond into the community groups, this year’s  World Heart Day, 30 September 2007, is themed “Team Up for Healthy Hearts”.

National Stroke Week runs from the 17-21 September and forms the basis for supporting public education about stroke awareness and prevention in the community.

For more information regarding activities planned for HAM, kindly visit or contact the Heart Mark Diet Line on 0860 223 222.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelle Kearney, Project Director: Communications & Public Relations, The Heart and Stroke Foundation SA - +27-21-4474222 - email:

The Heart and Stroke Foundation SA
The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa is a community-based organisation established to reduce the incidence of heart disease and stroke in the population of South Africa by providing education and supporting vital research. For further information visit

(1) Steyn NP, Labadarios D, Maunder E, Nel J, Lombard C. Secondary anthropometric data
analysis of the National Food Consumption Survey in South Africa: the double burden. Nutrition 2005;21:4-13

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