Pfizer's 'tune-up for life' (TM) identifies heart disease risks among race fans

May 15, 2002

NEW YORK, May 15, 2002 - More than 50 percent of men and women who participated in Pfizer's "Tune-Up for Life™" free health screening program at Winston Cup stock car races had not seen their doctor in a year or more. Moreover, men--nearly 75 percent of those who were screened--were less likely to visit their doctor for regular check-ups than were women, according to a presentation at the Seventeenth Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension.

Conducted at 39 Winston Cup race weekends in 19 states in 2001, Tune-Up-for-Life is an ongoing mobile screening program offering free information and health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and erectile dysfunction (ED). Screenings of 24,000 people revealed that 56 percent of men and 40 percent of women had not seen their doctor in at least a year. The screenings also found that 43 percent of men and 26 percent of women screened had high blood pressure and 60 percent of men and 22 percent of women had high cholesterol. Both are risk factors for heart disease.

"What is alarming about these findings is the revelation that many individuals, especially men, are not in touch with significant and treatable risks to their health that can pose serious threats over time if left untreated," said Tracie Snitker, Director of Public Affairs of the Men's Health Network. "This program demonstrates that Pfizer can leverage non-traditional venues such as auto racing to bring screenings to those who don't usually see their physician for regular health assessments and identify those individuals with health risks."

In an analysis of those participants who said they did not have hypertension, investigators found that 40 percent of men and 23 percent of women, in fact, had high blood pressure. Of great concern, even among men and women who said they had hypertension, more than half of them had abnormally high blood pressure readings at screening, indicating poor control of blood pressure even among those with known hypertension. In addition to measuring blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, men participating in "Tune-Up for Life" completed the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM), a standard screening tool to assess the presence of ED. The results revealed that 50 percent of men who reported having high blood pressure also had SHIM scores consistent with possible ED, while only 31 percent of those not reporting high blood pressure had SHIM scores consistent with possible ED.

"These screenings offered men who are uncomfortable or embarrassed to seek care on their own an opportunity to get checked for underlying conditions that can impact their sexual functioning and overall health that may have otherwise gone without being addressed," said Dale Glasser, Ph.D., Medical Director, Sexual Health, Pfizer Inc.

At the screenings, participants received health information, advice on reducing their risk factors and recommendations to see their own physician with the results of the screening as necessary. All were encouraged to see their physician on a regular basis.
The American Society of Hypertension (ASH) is the largest US organization devoted exclusively to hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases. ASH is committed to alerting physicians, allied health professions and the public about new medical options, facts, research findings and treatment choices designed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines, for humans and animals, and many of the world's best-known consumer products.

For More Information:
Bob Schwadron
212-732-6111, Ext. 213
ASH Press Room: 212-536-4910 (May 14-18)

Porter Novelli

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