The 'Bad', the 'Good' and the 'Other': The Triple Threat of Cardiovascular Disease

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 General News
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ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 6 More Americans are likelyto know their credit card expiration date than their cholesterol levelsdespite the fact that most recognize that good heart health is essential toliving a full, vigorous life. These results from a recent Harris Interactivesurvey of 1,005 U.S. adults are why Merck & Co., Inc. today announced apartnership with PGA TOUR golfer Tom Lehman to launch the Triple ThreatChallenge, an educational program about cardiovascular risk factors and yourlipid profile.

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The Triple Threat Challenge is a multi-faceted program that will offerinformation about heart disease, cardiovascular risk factors, and the threecomponents that make up your total lipid profile -- LDL-C (the "bad"cholesterol), HDL-C (the "good" cholesterol) and triglycerides (a fattysubstance that circulates in the blood stream) -- through PGA tour events, aninteractive Web site, and educational tips and tools. The program isdesigned to encourage people who may be at risk for cardiovascular disease totalk to their doctor, learn more about their cholesterol numbers and develop apersonal strategy to manage their risk.

"The Triple Threat Challenge is about focusing on all three lipidparameters that are indicators of cardiovascular risk -- and doing somethingabout it," said H. Bryan Brewer, Jr., M.D., Cardiovascular Research Institute,MedStar Research Institute, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC."People should talk to their healthcare provider, find out what their lipidnumbers are and determine if they need a plan to help reduce their risk ofcardiovascular disease."

Tom Lehman, the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain, 1996 British OpenChampion and five-time PGA TOUR winner, has joined the Triple Threat Challengeto educate golfers, golf fans and consumers about the three components oftheir lipid profile. Lehman, who has a family history of cardiovasculardisease, manages his Triple Threat on and off the course.

"In golf, it is important to perform well in the three fundamental aspectsof the game: driving, iron play and the short game. Although we all like tohit it long, chipping and putting are just as important to your success on thegolf course," said Lehman. "Similarly, it's important to focus on all threecomponents of your lipid profile to appropriately assess your risk ofdeveloping cardiovascular disease. Your good cholesterol, bad cholesterol andtriglyceride levels are all important risk factors to talk to your doctorabout. Because of my family history of cardiovascular disease, I take nothingfor granted when it comes to my heart health."

Survey Suggests Americans overconfident, misinformed about their health

The Harris Interactive survey showed that over 90 percent of people polledvalue their health and agree that good health is essential to living a full,vigorous life, however more than 75 percent of respondents stated that theyare not doing everything they can to help protect their health.

Half of respondents also said that they know exactly what the term "totalcholesterol" means, but only one-third believe they know exactly what "LDL","HDL" or "triglyceride" mean. Similarly, one-third of those polled admittedthat they have no idea what the terms LDL or HDL mean.

"The results of this survey reveal a lack of awareness about totalcholesterol levels," added Dr. Brewer. "People need to be well-informed aboutthe three pieces of the cholesterol puzzle -- LDL, HDL and triglycerides.Information for patients is the first step to get them to speak with a doctorabout their cardiovascular risk factors."

About the survey

Harris Interactive conducted a telephone survey of a total of 1,005 U.S.adults ages 18 and over in September 2007. Data was weighted based on age,sex, geographic region, and race to ensure reliab

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