MEDIA ADVISORY: Cardiovascular and Orthopaedic Screenings to Former NFL Players

By Scott Maier

What: UC San Francisco is teaming up with the Heart, Obesity, Prevention & Education (HOPE) Program of the Living Heart Foundation (LHF) to increase awareness and improve the health of former National Football League (NFL) players.

Media are invited to attend from 9-11 a.m. RSVP to [email protected] or 415-463-0110.

When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, September 28, 2019

Where: UCSF Smith Cardiovascular Research Building, 555 Mission Bay Boulevard South, San Francisco (map)

Why: Provided by UCSF cardiology and orthopaedic surgery clinical faculty volunteers, the HOPE evaluations include blood pressure, body composition, cardiac/carotid ultrasound, sleep apnea, hearing and other tests. The Professional Athletes Foundation, Pro Player Health Alliance and LHF aim to raise awareness of the players’ overall health and help direct them toward long-term solutions for all their health needs.

About 40-50 former NFL players are expected – including Michael Merriweather of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and Green Bay Packers; Anthony Simmons of the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints; and Honor Jackson of the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and New York Giants – many of whom live in the Bay Area.

After retirement, NFL linemen – generally the heaviest players – are more than twice as likely to have metabolic syndrome than the general public or other football players. People with metabolic syndrome have three or more of these conditions: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides (blood fats) and low HDL (“good” cholesterol).

The LHF was established in April 2001 by retired cardiac surgeon Arthur Roberts, MD, to combat sudden cardiac death and provide risk stratification with early intervention for cardiac, pulmonary and metabolic conditions through on-site screening and integrated health programs. In 2012, it began a national health screening program for current and retired NFL players.

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area.