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TWO HEART SPECIALISTS CALL FOR ATTACK ON HEART DISEASE

 NEW YORK, May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Two pioneering cardiologists today called for more aggressive steps to prevent and treat coronary heart disease, the number one killer of American men and women.
 William B. Kannel, M.D., M.P.H., and Eugene Braunwald, M.D., spoke at a special briefing where they received the third annual Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular Research.
 Dr. Kannel has been associated with the landmark Framingham Heart Study since its inception in 1949 and became its director in 1966. He is currently professor of Medicine and Public Health at Boston University Medical Center. Dr. Braunwald, Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, conducted pioneering studies that helped lead to a significant decrease in heart attack deaths by demonstrating that heart muscle damage can be mitigated up to two weeks after the heart attack. Drs. Braunwald and Kannel focused on four areas of prevention and treatment at the Bristol-Myers Squibb briefing.
 Clot Busters
 Dr. Braunwald called for greater use of TPA (tissue plasminogen activator) and streptokinase, two drugs known as clot busters, in prolonging the life of heart attack victims. "I think that clot busters are greatly under-utilized," Dr. Braunwald said.
 "Currently 35 to 40 percent of patients with heart attacks receive these thrombolytic drugs. Optimally, the number should be 70 to 75 percent."
 Lifestyle Overhaul
 Dr. Kannel, whose Framingham Study coined the term "Risk Factors" and focuses on preventing heart disease, said that the American lifestyle needs an overhaul. "We need to change the American diet and build exercise back into our daily lives." Dr. Kannel called for major national initiatives to eliminate smoking and promote walking as a means of transportation, and public education to encourage people to change their personal habits. Americans should adopt Asian and Mediterranean diets, which limit meat consumption and emphasize vegetables and grains.
 Diabetes And Heart Disease
 While many Americans are aware of complications of diabetes, including eye and kidney damage and peripheral blood vessel disease, they often ignore the risk of heart disease. "Coronary heart disease is the chief and most lethal hazard of adult onset, non-insulin dependent diabetes," Dr. Kannel said. Dr. Braunwald added, "Patients with diabetes are more likely to have heart attacks without symptoms. Physicians need to be more proactive with their diabetic patients than their non-diabetic patients."
 Systolic Blood Pressure
 Dr. Kannel emphasized systolic (top number) blood pressure as a potential indicator of heart attack risk. Physicians have tended to focus on the diastolic (bottom number), downplaying the significance of systolic blood pressure. "Almost every epidemiological study has found systolic pressure is more important than diastolic for hypertension," Dr. Kannel said. "We pointed out many years ago that people should pay more attention to systolic pressure. We now have come full circle."
 Since 1990, Bristol-Myers Squibb has committed more than $4 million in unrestricted funds in the United States and abroad for cardiovascular research. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular Research is an annual prize to a scientist who has made a unique contribution to fundamental or clinical cardiovascular research.
 -0- 5/27/93
 /CONTACT: Cate Lewandowski or Cindy Zinkovich of Public Communications Inc., 312-558-1770, for Bristol-Myers Squibb/


CO: Bristol-Myers Squibb ST: New York IN: MTC SU:

TS -- NY095 -- 3138 05/27/93 17:02 EDT
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Date:May 27, 1993
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