Hard Hats with Heart pairs American Heart Association with construction industry leaders

The American Heart Association is working with the construction industry to help build a world of longer, healthier lives. The American Heart Association hosted the second annual Hard Hats with Heart event at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Syracuse Destiny USA on Wednesday night. The event brought construction industry leaders and workers together with American Heart Association staff and volunteers to help fight heart disease and stroke. The event was led by volunteer Al Marzullo, American Heart Association advisory board member and Business Manager and Financial Secretary with IBEW Local 43.

Board members Rita Reicher, Al Marzullo and Todd Cross with Heart Walk Logistics Committee member Jennifer Cross

“The cost of heart disease is staggering, both financially and emotionally” said Al Marzullo. “Safety is paramount on our worksites, and our employees’ heart health should be just as important. I’m proud to be involved with Hard Hats with Heart here in Syracuse to help bring this issue to light in the construction industry.”

Adults in the construction industry have a slightly higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease compared to other industries. They are more likely to smoke and more likely to get no physical activity outside of work.

The event highlighted the dangers of high blood pressure. Nearly half of all U.S. adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, with the majority of those having high blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most common and dangerous risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

To help combat high blood pressure, the American Heart Association is working with members of the construction industry on the Check. Change. Control. program, which encourages people to self-monitor and control their blood pressure. The free program launched in December with more than 100 members and apprentices from IBEW Local 43. In just two months, 58% of participants have seen an improvement in their blood pressure and 14% have moved from “uncontrolled” blood pressure to “controlled” blood pressure.

For more information about the Hard Hats with Heart event, visit http://syracusehardhats.heart.org.

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