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Press release from CNW Group

Are You Young At Heart? Heart Age Calculator Helps Canadians Stay Heart Smart

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Are You Young At Heart? Heart Age Calculator Helps Canadians Stay Heart Smart08:00 EST Tuesday, February 05, 2013Take Your Health to Heart at a Shoppers Drug Mart Blood Pressure Awareness Day on February 9thTORONTO, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - You know how old you are, but do you know how old your heart is? To coincide with the launch of its nationwide Blood Pressure Awareness Day on February 9th, Shoppers Drug Mart is offering Canadians the opportunity to accurately find out how old their heart really is through a unique online tool called the Heart Age Calculator (shoppersdrugmart.ca/myheartage).You may feel young at heart but your heart and arteries may be aging faster than you. By answering simple lifestyle questions, the Heart Age Calculator helps Canadians calculate their cardiovascular age and assess their risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years.Created by the research team of Dr. Steven Grover, director of the McGill Cardiovascular Health Improvement Program (CHIP) at McGill University Health Center in Montréal, the Heart Age Calculator is the only scientifically validated online tool available that provides a personalized heart age and cardiovascular risk profile as recommended by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society guidelines."We strongly encourage Canadians to use this simple tool that has been shown to actually improve the management of hypertension and high cholesterol," says Laura Weyland, Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist.  "It takes just five minutes and research shows that knowing the age of your heart will lead to better heart health management."The Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends calculating your cardiovascular agei and maintains that knowing your cardiovascular risk profile improves management of blood pressure and blood lipidsii.Shoppers Drug Mart Blood Pressure Awareness Day:  Another way for Canadians to be Heart Smart On Saturday, February 9, 2013, Shoppers Drug Mart will also host a Blood Pressure Awareness Day at all locations across Canada.  Canadians are encouraged to take their blood pressure free of charge and discuss their results with the pharmacist who can provide insight on how best to manage their overall heart health.Blood Pressure Awareness Day participants also receive a Heart Health Logbook or a My Blood Pressure Smart Card, both tools that can help better manage your health by tracking your lifestyle and blood pressure and heart health histories in one place.  The information can be printed and shared with your doctor or pharmacist at regular visits. "Heart disease is a serious condition that affects millions of Canadians across the country, but taking simple steps like monitoring blood pressure, eating nutritious meals and discussing any health concerns with a health care professional can help mitigate the problem," says Laura Weyland, Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist.Weyland also recommends the following tips to be S.M.A.RT. for your heart:Stop Smoking: After you quit smoking, your risk of a heart attack starts to drop after only 2 days.After one year, your risk of heart disease will be just half of what it was when you were a smoker. Monitor your Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. The higher your blood pressure is, the higher your risk of heart disease.Apply an Active Lifestyle: If you do not get enough exercise, your risk of heart disease doubles.Getting active will combat the number one risk factor for heart disease.Regulate your cholesterol levels: As your cholesterol levels go up, so does your risk of heart disease. You can get your cholesterol under control by eating healthy, exercising, and quitting smoking. Some people may also need medications to help control their cholesterol.Take Control: Become more engaged about your heart health and seek the advice of medical professionals to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle.For more tips on how to stay heart healthy, visit your local Shoppers Drug Mart location and speak with a pharmacist on Saturday, February 9 during Blood Pressure Awareness Day.About the Heart Age CalculatorSeveral factors influence your heart age, including blood pressure levels, cholesterol, and the presence of risk factors like smoking.  The Heart Age Calculator assesses your height, age, weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, personal and family history, your daily habits and more to determine your heart age and health risk.  Use of the site is free, confidential and no registration is necessary.The Heart Age Calculator uses the MyHealthCheckUp (http://myhealthcheckup.com) risk engine and is endorsed by the Canadian Diabetes Association Treatment Guidelines, The Canadian National Lipid Guidelines, and the Canadian Hypertension Education Program.  It is the only tool available that is validated specifically for the Canadian population.About The McGill Cardiovascular Health Improvement Program (CHIP) Established in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization, The McGill Cardiovascular Health Improvement Program is a multidisciplinary program offering the highest standard of care for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. A "state of the art" smoking cessation program is also available. Health professionals from the following hospitals staff the program: McGill University Health Center, Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, Montreal Children's Hospital.About Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing.  The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec).  With more than 1,240 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada.  The Company also licenses or owns 55 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and six luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale.  As well, the Company owns and operates 62 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services.  In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities.Note to Editor INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY:  Pharmacists from five centres including GTA, Ottawa, Quebec, BC and Alberta are available for interviews.  Please contact Tammy Smitham, Vice President, Communications and Corporate Affairs Shoppers Drug Mart, directly to set up interviews._______________________________i Canadian Cardiovascular Society. http://www.ccsguidelineprograms.ca/images/stories/Dyslipidemia_Program/2012/new/ccs_2012dyslipidemiarecommendations_draft.pdf, slide 12ii Canadian Cardiovascular Society. http://www.ccsguidelineprograms.ca/images/stories/Dyslipidemia_Program/2012/new/ccs_2012dyslipidemiarecommendations_draft.pdf, slide 10.SOURCE: Shoppers Drug Mart CorporationFor further information: Tammy Smitham Vice President, Communications & Corporate Affairs Shoppers Drug Mart          416-490-2892 tsmitham@shoppersdrugmart.ca