Screenings Designed to Identify Potential Health Risks in Former Athletes


August 8, 2008

August 8, 2008 - Based on research that suggests some pro-football players, especially the largest ones, face increased risks for cardiovascular disease, former Washington Redskin Dexter Manley, New York Giants former quarterback Joe Pisarchik and more than 70 other retired NFL players will be screened for a variety of health-related issues August 9 and 10 at The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates and Heart Check Washington D.C.
Screenings will include EBCT calcium scanning to identify the risk of heart disease as well as echocardiograms, cholesterol and blood pressure testing and assessments for sleep apnea.
"We're proud to support this important, possibly lifesaving, event," said Richard Katz, M.D., director of cardiology at GW Medical Center. "The goal is to identify potential health risks in these former athletes, and educate and empower them to lead healthy lifestyles."
This screening and others held around the country will also contribute to research conducted by the Living Heart Foundation exploring the relationship between professional football players and cardiovascular disease.
According to Dr. James Ehrlich, medical director of Heart Check Washington DC, "We are confident that the use of electron beam tomography (EBCT), the gold standard CT scan for the early detection of coronary heart disease will allow these athletes and their physicians to properly identify and manage risk leading to strategies that will greatly improve longevity and health."
"We know that body mass is a major factor in heart disease, and we know that football players are often very large people," says Dr. Arthur "Archie" Roberts, a former NFL quarterback, cardiac surgeon and founder of the Living Heart Foundation. "This information will be compiled into the first of its kind medical report examining the rate of heart disease among professional football players -- a relationship that anecdotal evidence has suggested is quite strong," says Dr. Roberts.
The screening event will begin Saturday, August 9 and continue Sunday, August 10. Specific offerings include:
- Electrocardiograms and Echocardiograms
- Carotid vascular ultrasound
- Blood sugar, triglycerides, liver enzyme and lipid profiles
- C-reactive protein blood test
- Total cholesterol and blood pressure analyses
- EBCT image of calcium in heart arteries
- Nutrition, exercise and lifestyle assessments
- Prostate cancer blood screening
- Body fat analysis and body mass index

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