Sheila Copps Might be 55 Years Old, but Her Heart is Only 48

    New Online Tool Enables Canadians to Find Out Their Heart "Age";
    Knowing Yours Could Help Save Your Life

    TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Sheila Copps, Senator Vienne Poy and Member of
Parliament Olivia Chow have one important thing in common: their heart "ages"
are younger than they are. Good news for these women, who along with other
current and former political leaders, recently tested an important new tool to
help Canadian women better understand their risk for heart disease and stroke.
    The Becel Heart Age Tool allows Canadians to discover their estimated
heart "age" and it provides them with personalized recommendations on how to
make positive diet and lifestyle changes to further improve their heart
health.(*) The tool, available at, is based on the
groundbreaking Framingham Heart Study and takes approximately five to ten
minutes to complete. Users enter a number of key measures, including their
age, height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and family history; and
complete a questionnaire related to lifestyle factors such as diet, smoking
and exercise.
    "I am 55. When my dad was only 57 he suffered a massive heart attack
which changed our lives forever. I know that heart disease is not just a man's
disease, and with my family history, I have to be especially careful," says
Sheila Copps, former Deputy Prime Minister and renowned political commentator.
"I used the Heart Age Tool the other day and was very pleased to find out that
my heart 'age' is only 48. Even so, it still provides a wake-up call. By
becoming informed and being involved we can help save lives - either our own
or those of loved ones."
    While a staggering one in three Canadian women will die of heart disease
and stroke, only one in eight know it is their most serious health concern.(1)
The good news is that by knowing their estimated heart "age", Canadians can
take the steps necessary to help prevent or reduce their risk of heart disease
and stroke. This includes speaking with a doctor to learn more about the
    "The most promising aspect of education regarding heart disease is the
fact that this is a preventable condition," says Maria Ricupero, a registered
dietitian with the Toronto Rehab Cardiac Program in Toronto. "There are many
simple steps women can take to improve their heart health through diet and
other lifestyle choices. The Becel Heart Age Tool provides users with this
information and makes it easy for people to understand how to take action to
decrease their risk factors."
    As the founding sponsor of The Heart Truth, the Heart and Stroke
Foundation's national campaign to raise awareness about the risk of heart
disease and stroke for women, Becel is on a mission to educate, inspire and
empower Canadians to keep their hearts healthy and to invite them to share
that information with their loved ones.
    "Few Canadians realize that heart disease and stroke is the number one
killer of Canadian women," says the Honourable Bev Oda, federal Member of
Parliament and Minister of International Cooperation, Canadian Heritage and
Status of Women, and Heart Age Tool participant. "Heart disease can be
prevented and it is up to us to educate those that we love about what can be
done. It's up to us to take care of our mothers, aunts, sisters, friends and
ourselves. You can visit to find out more."


    Who                            What She Learned...
    Sheila Copps                   She has an estimated heart "age" of
    Former Deputy Prime Minister   48 with a chronological age of 55
    and political commentator
    Olivia Chow                    She has an estimated heart "age" of 38
    Member of Parliament,          with a chronological age of 50
    Bev Oda                        Heart disease and stroke is the number one
    Federal Minister of            killer of Canadian women
    International Cooperation
    and Status of Women
    Karen Stintz                   Her estimated heart "age"' is much younger
    Councillor, City of Toronto    than her chronological age of 37
    Paula Fletcher                 Her estimated heart "age" is younger than
    Councillor, City of Toronto    her chronological age
    Vivienne Poy                   She has an estimated heart "age" nine
    Senator                        years younger than her chronological age
                                   of 66
    Shirley Bond                   She has an estimated heart "age" of 38 and
    Deputy Premier and Minister    a chronological age of 51
    of Education, Member of the
    Legislative Assembly
    (Prince George-Mount Robson),
    British Columbia
    Kim Capri                      Her estimated heart age is younger than
    Councillor, City of Vancouver  her chronological age of 41 years
    Christy Clark                  She has an estimated heart "age" of 41 and
    Former Politician and          a chronological age of 42
    Vancouver Radio Personality
    Diane Colley-Urquhart          She has an estimated heart "age" of 45 and
    Alderman, City of Calgary      a chronological age of 60
    Heather Forsyth                She was so inspired by her heart "age"
    Member of the Legislative      that she has challenged other women to
    Assembly, Calgary Fish-Creek,  spread the word and, in doing so, to help
    Alberta                        save lives
    Françoise Bertrand             She has an estimated heart "age" of 68 and
    President of the Quebec        a chronological age of 59
    Federation of Chambers of
    Jocelyne Guertin               She has an estimated heart "age" of 42 and
    Member of the Executive        chronological age of 53
    Committee, City of Laval
    Louise Harel                   She has an estimated heart "age" of 68 and
    Member of Quebec National      a chronological age of 61
    Assembly (Hochelaga-

    (*) About the Becel Heart Age Tool

    The Becel Heart Age Tool is based on established cardiovascular disease
risk factors recognized through the Framingham Heart Study in the United
States. In collaboration with Boston University, the Framingham Heart Study
recorded physical information about the participants every two years. Patterns
emerged and factors that increase people's risk of developing heart disease
were identified. These became known as 'risk factors'. It was determined that
the major risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high
blood cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes and physical inactivity. The
Becel Heart Age Tool is an informational and motivational tool and is not a
substitute for medical diagnosis or advice.

    About Unilever

    Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer products companies, adds
vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal
care. Every day, 160 million people choose Unilever brands to feed their
families and to clean themselves and their homes.
    Unilever is best known in Canada by brands such as Becel(R), Lipton(R),
Red Rose(R), Slim-Fast(R), Hellmann's(R), Knorr(R), Breyers(R), Popsicle(R),
Bertolli(R), Sunlight(R), AXE(R), Vaseline(R), Vim(R), Q-Tips(R), Dove(R),
Suave(R), Sunsilk(R), and Degree(R).
    Unilever employs almost 2000 people across Canada and generated sales of
just over C$1.3 billion in 2007.
    For more information visit


    (1) Harris/Decima Televox National Telephone Omnibus, December 2007.

For further information:

For further information: Ontario: Jennifer Acheson, Stephanie Baxter,
NATIONAL Public Relations, (416) 848-1708, (416) 848-1369,,; Quebec: Sylvie Robitaille, NATIONAL
Public Relations, (514) 843-2354,; British Columbia:
Claire Munroe, Georgia Tsoromocos, NATIONAL Public Relations, (604) 684-6655,,; Alberta: Tanja McMorris,
NATIONAL Public Relations, (403) 531-0331,

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