SOURCE: SharecareNow; WCG

SharecareNow; WCG

February 21, 2012 08:00 ET

SharecareNow Identifies the Most Influential Online Voices in Heart Disease, the Number 1 Killer in the United States

ATLANTA, GA and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 21, 2012) - SharecareNow, powered by WCG today announced the "SharecareNow 10 - Heart Disease" list, ranking the top influencers of heart disease conversation online. These experts and organizations provide relevant resources for individuals seeking reliable information online related to heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States that claims almost a half-million lives each year.1

Introduced during American Heart Month, a nationally recognized month dedicated to raising heart health awareness, the "SharecareNow 10 - Heart Disease" is the most up-to-date online influencer list designed to connect Americans with an array of credible heart disease experts and resources to recognize, prevent and manage one of the most deadly health conditions in the U.S. The list aims to help improve awareness and education around heart disease and reduce the one in every three deaths in the U.S. that results from heart disease and stroke, equating to 2,200 deaths per day.1 Dr. Mehmet Oz, two-time Emmy® Award-winning host of the nationally syndicated and Emmy® Award-winning show, "The Dr. Oz Show," expressed enthusiasm about the creation of the "SharecareNow 10 - Heart Disease" list.

"Even though heart disease is the number-one killer in our country, millions of Americans are unaware of their risk factors, warning signs, or that simple heart-smart habits can drastically improve one's overall health and save their life," said Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. "That's why I'm proud there is now a great list of influencers working to make a difference in a field that's near and dear to me. It's imperative Americans across the country are aware of who they can rely on to provide real-time, credible information online in order to combat the on-set of heart disease and commit to a heart-healthy lifestyle before it's too late."

Heart disease refers to a variety of conditions that occur within the heart, but the most common type is coronary artery disease (CAD), a buildup of fatty plaque in the coronary arteries that reduces blood flow to the heart and worsens overtime. According to the American Heart Association, an American will experience some type of a coronary event approximately every 25 seconds, and every minute someone will die of one.2

By identifying the common risk factors -- which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a family history of the disease, diabetes, stress, history of smoking, obesity and physical inactivity3 -- individuals can decrease their chances of developing heart disease and minimize the severity of the disease before it becomes life-threatening.

"Oftentimes, the first sign of heart disease is a devastating and fatal heart attack, which is why the 'SharecareNow 10 - Heart Disease' aims to improve the overall lack of education and awareness around the severity of this disease for at-risk patients and their loved ones who are looking for information online," said Jeff Arnold, chairman and CEO of Sharecare. "Based on the vast number of Americans with diagnosed and undiagnosed heart disease, the list represents one of the most powerful resources available to empower people with the knowledge to develop a personalized heart healthy plan and live healthier lives."

In order to be included in the "SharecareNow 10 - Heart Disease" list, influencers must have demonstrated a consistent impact on heart disease-specific conversations online over the past year. The individuals' influence is measured and quantified through a proprietary algorithm based on more than 40 individual metrics, including heart disease relevance, syndication, presence and reach. The influence of these individuals and organizations is then ranked based on a unique scoring structure.

The following top influencers make up the "SharecareNow 10 - Heart Disease" list:

1. American Heart Association - http://my.americanheart.org/
2 .Shelley Wood - http://www.theheart.org/
3. Larry Husten - http://cardiobrief.org/
4. Richard N. Fogoros - http://heartdisease.about.com/
5. Chris Kaiser - http://www.medpagetoday.com/
6. Carolyn Thomas - http://myheartsisters.org/
7. Stephen Sinatra - http://blog.drsinatra.com/
8. Tara Parker-Pope - http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/
9. Deepak Chopra - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
10. Michael O'Riordan - http://www.theheart.org/

Additional information, including bios and the methodology behind the influencer list, is available at http://now.sharecare.com.

About SharecareNow, powered by WCG
SharecareNow, powered by WCG was developed in partnership with Sharecare, an interactive social Q&A platform, and WCG, a market-leading digital communications agency. Sharecare Now, powered by WCG is an online platform developed to access real-time analytics on various health topics, conversations and influencers, and to use these insights to meaningfully impact the conversation through strategic engagement. The platform allows health and wellness professionals, organizations and brands to leverage the most accurate data, solutions and best practices to participate in the social service of expert health and wellness content and communities.

About Sharecare
Launched in 2010 and based in Atlanta, GA, Sharecare's mission is to greatly simplify the search for high-quality healthcare information and answer the world's questions of health. Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz, in partnership with Harpo Studios, HSW International (NASDAQ: HSWI), Sony Pictures Television, and Discovery Communications, the Sharecare interactive social Q & A platform allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness. The company's innovative approach provides a wide array of expert answers to each question ranging from hospitals to MDs to non-profits to healthcare companies to active health consumers, ultimately creating a community where healthcare knowledge is built, shared and put into practice.

Follow us on Twitter @SharecareNow
Find us on Facebook
Read our Sharecare Blog
Watch us on YouTube

About WCG
Founded and led by chairman and CEO Jim Weiss, WCGC, the newly formed parent company of WCG, an award-winning independent global communications agency, is focused on integrated business solutions in the areas of product supremacy, innovation, change and growth for the world's leading companies. WCGC serves clients through a network of offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Austin, Los Angeles and London. The company is celebrating its 11th year in business in 2012.

WCGC's seasoned professionals specialize in branding, design, digital and traditional marketing, corporate and product PR, media, investor and advocacy relations, clinical trial recruitment and grassroots direct-to-patient communications campaigns. For more information, please visit www.wcgworld.com.

Follow us on Twitter @WCGWORLD
Find us on Facebook
Read our CommonSense Blog
Watch us on YouTube

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Be One in a Million this American Heart Month. http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/. Accessed February 1, 2012.

2 Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, et al.; American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee.
Circulation 2011 Feb 1; 123 (4) :e18-e209. Epub 2010 Dec 15. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/123/4/e18.full.pdf+html

3 American Heart Association. Understand Your Risk of Heart Attack. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/UnderstandYourRiskofHeartAttack/Understand-Your-Risk-of-Heart-Attack_UCM_002040_Article.jsp. Assessed February 1, 2012.

Contact Information