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Charlie Rose Science Series Explores Heart Disease
Date:9/17/2007

Episode Nine of Science Series to Focus on Cardiovascular Disease, Prevention and Treatment Options, and Global Trends That Undermine Care

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NEW YORK, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The upcoming episode of the "Charlie Rose Science Series" on PBS will focus on heart disease, one of the leading global killers, which claims almost 900,000 lives each year in the United States alone. Co-host Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel Laureate and President of Rockefeller University and a panel of leading experts in cardiology and heart disease will join Charlie Rose. Guest panelists will address prevalence rates among men and women, the biology and genetics of the disease, the most common risk factors and how to reduce them, medical, surgical and interventional therapies, and steps that individuals can take toward a heart-healthy life style.

The ninth episode in the 12-part Science Series, which is sponsored by Pfizer Inc, will begin airing on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 on more than 200 PBS stations across the country.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, killing an average of one in four. Worldwide, heart disease claimed the lives of nearly 17.5 million people in 2005, making it the greatest cause of mortality across the globe. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease, which is an umbrella term that includes all aspects and types of coronary and cardiovascular problems, and all subsequent related problems, will cost an estimated $258 billion dollars in health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

"Heart disease is a crucial concern worldwide, and one that scientists have come a long way in understanding." said Charlie Rose. "Though a number of factors, such as anti-smoking campaigns, improved diet and exercise recommendations, and the development of effective drugs, is improving disease outlook, much remains to be done."

Charlie's distinguished guests will include: Steven Nissen, MD, MACC, Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Lori Mosca, MD, MPH, PhD., Director of Preventive Cardiology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia; Harlan Krumholz, MD, Harold H. Hines Junior Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, and Public Health at Yale University; and Lance Becker, MD, Director of the Center for Resuscitation Science and Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Heart disease is a broad term which includes several more specific heart conditions. The most common heart condition in the United States is coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack or other serious conditions. Other conditions which are included in heart disease are Aortic Aneurysms, Arrhythmias, Cardiomyopathy, and Peripheral Arterial Disease.

"At Pfizer, we are looking beyond our groundbreaking work in cholesterol control and are making advances in understanding those other risk factors that can lead to heart disease," said Dr. Steven Ryder, therapeutic leader for cardiovascular medicine at Pfizer. "Our current and future portfolio of medicines focuses on the control of risk factors inherent in smoking, diet, physical activity, and Type 2 diabetes. We are committed to playing a more significant role in providing solutions for patients that lead to better health and disease prevention."

Because of advances in medicine and technology, people with heart disease are living longer, more productive lives than ever before. However, global trends like obesity, smoking, rising diabetes, high blood pressure, and poor lifestyle undermine many of the improvements that have been made toward the prevention of heart disease. According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet are main risk factors which increase individual risks to cardiovascular diseases.

"While genetics has an effect on heart disease, big increases have been associated with lifestyle decisions, something that we can control, but by and large choose not to," noted Dr. Nurse. "As research moves forward, we will learn more about the disease by understanding people's genetic predispositions towards cardiovascular disease. Ultimately, it's the interaction between genetics and person's environment and lifestyle that's the key issue."

Pfizer's support for the Charlie Rose Science Series and its exploration of the advances being made in scientific research, their contribution to our understanding of the world around us, and how these breakthroughs may be applied to improving human health is part of Pfizer's commitment to expanding scientific understanding.

Past episodes of the Charlie Rose Science Series have explored research that has led to a better understanding of the human brain; the discovery and mapping of human DNA; new insights into longevity and the body's aging mechanisms; an in-depth look at cancer, the latest advances in stem cell research; the problem of obesity in the American population especially among children and teenagers; and the continually growing problem of HIV/AIDS worldwide.

For more information about the Charlie Rose Science Series or to watch clips from past episodes, please visit http://www.charlierose.com .


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