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Matter of the heart

UF professor recognizes Laura Bush for work on heart-health awareness


Dr. Carl Pepine, left, awarded an honorary fellowship to First Lady Laura Bush at the recent meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans. Pepine is the organization's president.

SPECIAL TO THE SUN
Published: Thursday, April 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 at 10:10 p.m.
Dr. Carl J. Pepine, professor and chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Florida's College of Medicine, has awarded an honorary fellowship in the American College of Cardiology to First Lady Laura Bush.
Pepine is current president of the national organization.
Bush was honored for her efforts to increase public awareness of heart disease, particularly among women, during the ACC's annual meeting recently in New Orleans.
"I can't think of anyone who has been a stronger advocate for heart health," Pepine said in making the presentation. "Mrs. Bush's efforts to educate the public - and particularly women - about the risks of heart disease have been truly outstanding."
Bush addressed the audience, encouraging members of the ACC to help in educating the doctors women are likely to see most often, like their obstetrician-gynecologists, about the risks of cardiovascular disease so that they may pass the message to women.
The first lady has been an active participant in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) "Heart Truth" initiative, and helped to kick off American Heart Month in February at a special ceremony at the White House.
During that ceremony, she noted the importance of recognizing the risks for cardiovascular disease and taking an active approach to prevention through diet, exercise and health care.
Pepine, who also participated in the White House launch for American Heart Month, emphasized the need to educate Americans about the risks of smoking, obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension, all of which can be controlled but, when left unaddressed, dramatically increase a woman's risk for heart disease, the No. 1 killer of American women.
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