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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 EDT

Ex-NFL Players Participate in Lifesaving Health Screenings at Heart Check and GW Medical Faculty Associates

August 7, 2008

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — When you see professional football players on the field they appear invincible, but life after football often means they may be more vulnerable to health problems than the fans watching them every Sunday.

Research suggests that some pro-football players, especially the largest ones, face increased risks for cardiovascular disease. That’s why 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 & 10 at The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates and at nearby Heart Check Washington DC.

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,” says Dr. Richard Katz, 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 LHF 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   

The participating athletes will conclude their assessment with an individual meeting with a health professional who will review and discuss the available preliminary results. Final test results will be mailed four to six weeks later.

Living Heart Foundation (LHF)

The LHF, a non-profit entity, founded in 2001, uses its established nationwide healthcare network to provide technically advanced, voluntary, health screenings for active and retired professional football players at regional participating medical facilities within major geographical areas around the country. The LHF works closely with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) to plan and deliver the health screening program. To learn more about the Living Heart Foundation’s screening events, visit: http://www.livingheartfoundation.org/.

GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA)

The GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) physician group practice corporation comprising the academic clinical faculty for The George Washington University Medical Center. In its eighth year of existence, the MFA has grown to include over 300 physicians providing medical care in 41 specialty areas. Aside from its expertise in patient care, medical education and scientific research, the MFA is leading the way to modernize the practice of medicine with the adaptation and implementation of technology to improve the patient experience. For more information, please visit http://www.gwdocs.com/.

Heart Check Washington DC

Heart Check Washington DC is a private coronary risk assessment center which has introduced EBCT coronary heartscans, lungscans, bodyscans and virtual colonoscopy to the region. Established in 1995, the center employs ultra-low radiation and accurate EBCT testing and has identified early heart disease and cancer in 1000s of individuals in the region. The center is associated with leading local radiologists and cardiologists and with national authorities in coronary plaque imaging.

GW Medical Faculty Associates

CONTACT: David Garofalo of GW Medical Faculty Associates,+1-202-741-3381, dgarofalo@mfa.gwu.edu

Web Site: http://www.gwdocs.com/http://www.livingheartfoundation.org/