HOUSTON (June 08, 2007)

Memorial Hermann Health System is partnering with Life Line Screening, the nation's largest provider of vascular screenings to help prevent the first and third leading causes of death in the United States - heart disease and stroke. Screenings can help identify risk factors that lead to stroke and other vascular issues before these events occur. Memorial Hermann is the official presenter of hundreds of screenings throughout the Houston area.

"These screenings are important because it gives people the opportunity to detect potentially life-threatening diseases before they strike," explains Carol Edwards, Memorial Hermann system executive for Heart and Vascular Services. "Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States. In fact, cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 12 times as many American females as breast cancer. Stroke strikes every 45 seconds and claims a life every three minutes. These diseases are considered "silent killers" that strike with no previous symptoms or only subtle ones. A simple screening may prevent death or disability."

"Combining Life Line Screening's preventive service with Memorial Hermann's diagnostic and treatment abilities creates a continuity of care that is unsurpassed in this area," said Frank Brown, Memorial Hermann chief Service Lines officer. "We have a commitment to the community to prevent catastrophic events like stroke and other vascular diseases, and this partnership is an important part of that commitment."

Provided screenings include:

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening - Ultrasound is used to visualize the abdominal aorta, the largest artery in the body, to measure the diameter of the aorta. This measurement can indicate if there is a weakening in the aortic wall which can cause a ballooning effect known as an aneurysm. Aneurysms can burst, which generally is fatal.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Screening - PAD is also known as hardening of the arteries. Sufferers have a five- to six-fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Risk is evaluated through a measurement called the Ankle-Brachial Index, which is obtained by reading the systolic pressure in the ankle and arm.
  • Carotid Artery Screening -This painless, non-invasive Doppler ultrasound is used to visualize the carotid arteries, the arteries that bring blood to the brain. The majority of strokes are caused by plaque build up in these arteries.
  • Osteoporosis Screening - Ultrasound is used to estimate the bone density of the heel. This can indicate if there is a reduction in bone density, which may indicate the presence of osteoporosis. The heel is used because it is similar in composition to the hip, where disabling fractures often occur.

"We are very pleased to be partnering with the Memorial Hermann System," said Colin Scully, Life Line Screening chairman and chief executive officer. "Life Line Screening is dedicated to helping people live fuller, healthier lives, and this partnership is a concrete example of putting that mission into practice."

A special Wellness Package of all four screenings is available for only $129. The whole process takes less than an hour.

Pre-register online for a screening or call 1-800-690-0289 to make an appointment.

For more information, contact Media Relations.