Ditzo asks Dutch to cover plenty of ground in campaign to curb key cause of death in women
Lieke van Lexmond launches ‘Blue Heart’ campaign to fight cardiovascular disease
Insurer Ditzo has launched an engaging campaign, ‘De Hartstocht’, to fight cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in women. From today, a blue velvet toy heart will be sent on a trip around the Netherlands to cover as many kilometres as possible and raise funds for research into this fatal disease. Treatment and medication for cardiovascular disease are currently based mainly on research in men, whereas the problem develops differently in women.
The campaign is calling on everyone in the Netherlands to look for the heart and, when they have found it, send it further on its way. The velvet heart contains a GPS tracker device that accurately monitors its exact location and shows how many kilometres it has covered. The progress of the blue heart can be followed at www.dehartstocht.nl. Ditzo is donating 10 euros to research into cardiovascular disease for every kilometre covered, plus an extra 10-euro bonus for every selfie or short video that people post of themselves with the heart on social media. By doing so, Ditzo is again setting aside part of its marketing budget to help improve medical care. TV presenter Lieke van Lexmond will be the first to take delivery of the blue heart, and will formally hand it over in the RTL Boulevard television show this evening.
Heart failure is different in women
The funds raised by the De Hartstocht campaign will benefit the work of the Cardiovascular Centre at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht. Medical researcher Dr Hester den Ruijter said of their work: ‘Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, claims the lives of 57 women each day. That’s 20,000 women a year. The symptoms of heart failure in women are often misdiagnosed or dismissed altogether, largely due to lack of knowledge about heart failure in women. Most research into heart failure in the past has been done on men, and the results have simply been directly transposed to women. But it’s now becoming increasingly clear that women develop a different type of heart failure to men. Women more frequently develop problems in the smaller vessels in the heart, whereas in men it is generally the larger arteries that tend to harden and narrow. More research is therefore urgently needed on heart failure in women’.
Ditzo is hoping the campaign will raise a large amount of money for the research being done by Hester den Ruijter and her team. Ditzo CEO Bob Stehmann: ‘It has now become something of a tradition that at the end of each year we give part of our marketing and TV budget for medical insurance to a campaign to improve medical care, just as we did with Kijk Kanker de Wereld Uit and #ZorgMee, which benefited nine medical care initiatives.’
For more information and to see the terms and conditions governing the campaign, please visit www.ditzo.nl/dehartstocht
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