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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE February 6, 2001

Doctors Launch Reverse Heart Disease or Prevent It National Public Service Campaign

Top Ten States with Highest Death Rates Are Targeted: TV Ad Hits Capitals for Valentine's Day

WASHINGTON—In time for Valentine's Day, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is launching a national TV ad campaign on heart disease prevention. The nation's top ten states for mortality from coronary heart disease are targeted. The 30-second ad, featuring PCRM spokesperson Joel Fuhrman, M.D., is scheduled to air in the hardest-hit states on and prior to Valentine's Day. The message: A low-fat, vegetarian diet can unclog arteries and prevent death from heart disease. Meat-eaters have three times higher risk of dying from coronary heart disease than vegetarians.

"Every day, 4,000 people in the United States suffer a heart attack—many of them fatal. Most of those people could be saved if they followed this simple prescription: a low-fat, vegetarian diet. Weaker diet changes, such as the chicken-and-fish diets some doctors have recommended, do not go far enough," states PCRM president Neal D. Barnard, M.D. "To prevent or reverse heart disease, it has to be vegetarian."

Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., PCRM's Midwestern spokesman, has had phenomenal success treating heart patients with a low-fat, vegetarian diet. American Medical News recently reported that one of Dr. Esselstyn's patients saw his cholesterol level plunge from a dangerous 235 to 123.

On February 8 through 14, the 30-second ad entitled "Heart Disease Prevention" will air in New York, Missouri, Kentucky, and Ohio. In Oklahoma and Rhode Island, "Heart Disease Prevention" will appear as a public service announcement with Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Indiana likely to broadcast it also.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

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