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Dr. Donnica Joins the Forgotten Fat Campaign

(Washington, D.C., 1/20/07): Sister to Sister has taken another step toward increasing heart-health among women by launching a new campaign to educate women about total lipid health. Donnica Moore, MD will serve as the physician spokeswoman for the campaign. Best known as "Dr. Donnica", she is passionate about educating women about their heart health and working to prevent cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in American women, which kills more than 10 times as many women each year as breast cancer. "Women tend to take care of others at the expense of their own health. We want women to learn about heart disease risk factors like high triglycerides that, caught early, can be reversed."

Lipid is a term describing fats in the blood. The Good, The Bad and The Forgotten Fat campaign focuses beyond the commonly discussed "good cholesterol" (HDL) and "bad cholesterol" (LDL) and helps women recognize the importance of controlling their triglycerides, or the "forgotten fat."

Why are triglycerides important? Elevated triglycerides are closely linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in both American men and women. Triglyceride levels below 150 mg/dL are considered normal. The risk of developing coronary artery disease doubles when triglyceride levels are above 200 mg/dL. When triglycerides are above 200 mg/dL and "good" (HDL) cholesterol is below 40 mg/dL, a person is at four times the risk.

High triglycerides also predict a risk of developing protein in the urine, which can be an early sign of kidney failure. Very high levels of triglycerides may also lead to liver damage, under-active thyroid and pancreatitis.

Elevated triglycerides are an even more significant risk factor for women than men. In fact, an increase in triglyceride levels of 88 points increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 37% for women, compared to 14% for men.

"We are thrilled at this opportunity to further educate women, specifically about the importance of considering triglycerides in addition to cholesterol, and to motivate them to make positive changes and take the necessary steps to protect and improve their heart health," said Sister to Sister's Founding President, Irene Pollin, M.S.W. "For the first time, these Sister to Sister screenings will include a test to measure participants' triglycerides."

Mrs. Pollin practiced for 25 years as a psychotherapist working with patients with chronic medical conditions. Known for her years of philanthropy and dedication to the medical profession, Mrs. Pollin established Sister to Sister in 1999. The mission of this national grassroots nonprofit organization is to bring free heart disease screenings and heart-healthy prevention information to women across the country. Sister to Sister's goal is to help women prevent heart disease by providing the tools and motivation to make positive behavioral changes.

Together, Dr. Donnica and Mrs. Pollin encourage patients to talk to their doctors about how to control all three lipids, including triglycerides, and to maximize their heart-health. The Good, The Bad and The Forgotten Fat campaign features health fairs across the nation with heart-health screenings, a nationally distributed televised public service announcement focusing on triglyceride awareness, and an educational Web site. To reach the Forgotten Fat website, click here.

The Sister to Sister - Everyone Has A Heart Foundation, Inc.® is the only national organization dedicated to educating women about heart disease and encouraging them to change their behavior to prevent or minimize their cardiac risk factors. Sister to Sister accomplishes this by providing free cardiac screenings to women nationwide, conducting and publishing research on women and cardiac health, and providing women with the tools to make constructive changes for improved cardiac health. In 2007, Sister to Sister will conduct National Woman's Heart Day events on Feb. 16 in 16 cities, including: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis and Washington, DC.

The Good, The Bad and The Forgotten Fat campaign is supported by an educational grant from Abbott.

For more information on Sister to Sister, click here. To view the list of cities hosting upcoming screening events, click here.

To view the Forgotten Fat public service announcement, click here.

For more information about women and heart health, click here.

Created: 1/29/2007  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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