Media contacts:
Sherry Baker, 404/377-1398,
Janet Christenbury, 404/727-8599,
January 30, 2002


Emory Heart Center Celebrates National Heart Month With Events To Promote Knowledge About Heart Health

As Valentine's Day approaches and thoughts turn to romance and paper hearts, the Emory Heart Center is encouraging people to think about their real hearts in February, by presenting eight Lunch and Learn lectures focused upon heart health.

"February is National Heart Month, a time to draw attention to the remarkable fist-sized organ that literally pumps life through our bodies," says Douglas Morris, M.D., Director of the Emory Heart Center. "Heart Month gives us an opportunity to encourage people to learn about their hearts, including what they can do to keep their hearts healthy and how they can reduce their risk of heart disease."

The Lunch and Learn series -- featuring topics ranging from sorting out the truth about "good" and "bad" dietary fat and how to deal with stress to information about cardiovascular tests and the relationship of diabetes to heart disease -- will be held at Emory's 1525 Clifton Road building and at several area churches. Emory physicians, exercise physiologists, a nurse and a nutritionist will present the talks, which are co-sponsored by Pfizer and Kroger. Health screenings, including blood cholesterol and glucose testing and blood pressure measurements, will be offered for a minimal cost at some of the Lunch and Learn events. The lectures are free to the first100 people who register by calling Emory HealthConnection at 404-778-7777.

February was first proclaimed National Heart Month by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In the 38 years that have passed, the field of cardiology has made great advances in diagnosing and treating heart ailments. In fact, since President Johnson was in office, the death rate from coronary heart disease has fallen by nearly 60 percent. However, heart disease is still America's number one killer.

"The good news is that we now know much cardiovascular disease can be prevented. People can take control over many lifestyle changes that can have enormous benefits to their overall health and help them avoid future heart problems," says Emory cardiologist Laurence Sperling, M.D., Director of Emory's HeartWise Risk Reduction Program. Dr. Sperling will present the Lunch and Learn lecture "New Frontiers in the Prevention of Heart Disease" at Clairmont Presbyterian Church (1994 Clairmont Rd., Decatur) on February 15th from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

The Lunch and Learn series is presented by the Emory HeartWise Risk Reduction Program. HeartWise is designed for anyone who has experienced a heart or circulatory event or for anyone who is considered "at risk" for heart disease. Emory Heart Center physicians and other health professionals offer individualized risk assessment followed by a carefully monitored program of exercise, nutrition and education to help lower heart disease risk. To find out more about the HeartWise program, call 404-778-2850.

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