McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Barry London, MD, PhD (pictured), Director of the Cardiovascular Institute and Chief of the Division of Cardiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is thankful for the funds raised during the Guns ‘N Hoses: Police vs. Firemen, annual boxing event. Monies raised will benefit a UPMC program that will screen firefighters and police officers at risk of heart disease.
“The program, which is still in its planning stages, will identify those with factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” said Dr. London.
Heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke are among the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Research into new ways to prevent and treat heart disease is crucial. Funds raised for this event will support a new program to identify police officers and firefighters at high risk for heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Firefighters in particular have been identified in several studies as having a high risk of dying from heart disease because they deal with extreme heat and exertion and can be exposed to toxic substances.
"They have incredibly stressful jobs and sometimes they sit around and suddenly jump into high-level physical activity," London said.
Eighteen firefighters, paramedics, and police officers squared off in the Pittsburgh Hilton ballroom, entering to the strains of Queen's "We are the Champions" and the cheers of about 250 spectators. A retired, Pittsburgh police officer and a long-time local boxing fixture came up with the idea for the event because he was so thankful for his treatment at UPMC after a heart attack.
The UPMC Cardiovascular Institute is recognized both nationally and internationally as a leading center for cardiovascular disease diagnosis, treatment, and research, and provides a multitude of sophisticated and specialized treatments for every type of heart and vascular disease.
Dr. London is also an Associate Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology & Physiology within the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Press Release (02/08/08)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (02/10/08)
The Cardiovascular Institute at UPMC