Heart disease and stroke remain the No. 1 and No. 4 killers in our country. Due to childhood obesity and other factors, it is now possible that our children and grandchildren will have a shorter life expectancy than our generation. How sad this would be for the future.
However, there is hope. In 1999 the American Heart Association set a bold 10-year goal: to reduce coronary heart disease and stroke risk by 25 percent by 2010. The AHA achieved the reduction in deaths ahead of schedule! Because of this success, the AHA approved a new goal: by 2020 to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent. The new goal looks beyond helping people reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by focusing on helping them build stronger health and a better quality of life.
This is where the annual American Heart Association Heart Walk comes in, and the result has Pittsburgh at the head of the effort. A portion of funds raised from all Heart Walks are used for medical research. Due to our outstanding universities, hospitals and research facilities Pittsburgh continues to be the destination for many of those dollars to lead this fight again heart disease and stroke.
Our Heart Walk this year is Saturday, Nov. 3, at Heinz Field. Clint Hurdle, manager of our Pittsburgh Pirates, and I are proudly co-chairing the fundraising event. Our goal is $1.3 million, and we urge you to donate to the efforts.
I lost both of my parents to heart disease and stroke. I don't want that fate for my children and grandchildren. Please visit our website, www.heart.org/pittsburghheartwalk and register for this year's Heart Walk.
JOHN S. STANIK
2012 Pittsburgh Heart Walk Co-Chair
The writer is former president and CEO, Calgon Carbon Corp.