SAN FRANCISCO, July 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) today announced that the 2009 US AGAINST ATHERO tour is in the San Francisco Bay Area from August 1-9 for the National Senior Games, the largest multisport event in the world for people over 50 years of age, to help educate attendees about atherosclerosis ("athero" for short) -- the progressive buildup of plaque in the arteries and a leading cause of coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is the number one cause of death in the United States.(1)
"There are many contributors to the development of coronary heart disease, including family history and age," said General K. Hilliard, MD, FACC, a Livermore, Calif. cardiologist and immediate past chairman of the Association of Black Cardiologists. "Over 83 percent of people who die of coronary heart disease are 65 years of age or older.(2) The US AGAINST ATHERO movement addresses an important health issue for Senior Games attendees and their families and is designed to motivate participants to take action by improving the health of their arteries."
Before turning 35 years of age, two out of three Americans will have some degree of athero.(3) However, it's not too late to learn how to care for the arteries, especially since athero typically has no signs or symptoms(4) until an artery becomes severely narrowed or completely blocked, potentially leading to a heart attack, stroke, or other serious, potentially fatal, health problems.(4) US AGAINST ATHERO, sponsored by AstraZeneca, will be at the Senior Games with the Artery Explorer, a multi sensory motion simulator that illustrates the causes, progression, and consequences of atherosclerosis, to help attendees learn about arterial health.
Inside the Artery Explorer, attendees will travel through the winding path of the human circulatory system as the arteries become narrow and blocked with plaque. Along the way, they will confront common risk factors for athero, such as LDL (bad) cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking. The experience concludes with a head-on collision with a blood clot, demonstrating how athero can result in a heart attack or stroke.
Atherosclerosis can begin in early adulthood and may continue as a person ages(5), making it especially important for the senior population to understand their risk factors. By allowing people to experience this otherwise silent disease, the Artery Explorer will educate attendees at the 2009 Senior Games about atherosclerosis and encourage them to take steps to take care of their arteries.
"As a proud national sponsor of both the US AGAINST ATHERO movement and the 2009 Senior Games, AstraZeneca has a commitment that goes beyond research and includes early detection and patient education programs," said Anne Blackwood, Associate Director of Government Affairs, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, US. "We've brought these two programs together to help make a difference for Senior Games athletes and their families by encouraging them to become advocates for their own health and to take action."
Since its 2008 launch, the US AGAINST ATHERO campaign has educated over 100 million Americans about preventing and managing atherosclerosis. In 2009, the Artery Explorer will visit 16 major cities across the US. At the 2009 Senior Games, the Artery Explorer will be situated on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, Calif. Attendees can also visit the main AstraZeneca display in the Athlete Village. For people who can't visit the Artery Explorer in person, a video is available at www.athero.com, in addition to more information about atherosclerosis and an opportunity to enroll in the educational Athero IQ program.
Atherosclerosis is the progressive buildup of plaque -- made of fat, cholesterol, and other substances -- in the inner walls of the arteries.(4) Elevated cholesterol and other risk factors can contribute to the disease(5) and for many, the disease progresses silently, with no visible signs or symptoms.(4) Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of coronary heart disease (CHD), which affects more than 16.8 million Americans(6) and is the No. 1 killer in the US.(1)( )Approximately 785,000 Americans will have their first heart attack in 2009(6), and about every minute someone will die from a coronary event.(6) Atherosclerosis is also a leading cause of stroke, which affects approximately 6.5 million Americans each year.(6) Together, CHD and stroke kill more Americans every year than all cancers combined.(6)
About US AGAINST ATHERO
US AGAINST ATHERO is a campaign sponsored by AstraZeneca to increase our nation's awareness of atherosclerosis with hopes that all Americans will take steps to take care of their arteries. Through education and information, US AGAINST ATHERO supports people in becoming advocates for their own health and for the health of others. To join the US AGAINST ATHERO effort, please visit www.athero.com.
AstraZeneca is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and in the supply of health care services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with global health care sales of $31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology, and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $13.5 billion dollar health care business.
For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me(TM) Prescription Savings Program, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com.
About the National Senior Games Association (NSGA)
The National Senior Games Association is a nonprofit member of the United States Olympic Committee dedicated to motivating senior men and women to lead a healthy lifestyle through the senior games movement. The organization governs the Summer National Senior Games, the largest multisport event in the world for seniors, and other national senior athletic events. It is an umbrella for member state organizations across the United States that host State Senior Games or Senior Olympics. The NSGA supports and sanctions these member state organizations so that adults can participate in their state in events year-round. Visit www.nsga.com for more information about NSGA and its programs.
(1) Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics: 2009 Update at a Glance. American Heart Association. Accessed July 17, 2009.
(2) American Heart Association. "Risk Factors and Coronary Heart Disease."http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4726. Accessed June 2009.
(3) Strong, et al., 1999. Prevalence and Extent of Atherosclerosis in Adolescents and Young Adults. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 730-731, Table 3.
(4) "What is Atherosclerosis?" National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Available at:http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Atherosclerosis/Atherosclerosis_WhatIs.html. Accessed July 19, 2009.
(5) Berenson, et al.,1998. Association Between Multiple Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Atherosclerosis in Children and Young Adults. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1652, Figure 1.
(6) Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics: 2009 Update. American Heart Association. January 13, 2009.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved