Ames Joins Effort to Help Canadians Lower Cholesterol


Stephen Ames, recent winner of the Players Championship, has teed it up with Pat Quinn, Sandra Post, Rod Black, Gaétan Boucher, and the Making the Connection(R) (MTC) program to encourage Canadians to take action to lower their cholesterol in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack or stroke.

"I'm proud to be part of the Making the Connection program," said Ames. "My father has a family history of high cholesterol and because of this and my age I also need to monitor my cholesterol closely. I understand how important it is that we take the steps to keep our cholesterol under control, and I want to encourage other Canadians to do the same to protect their heart health."

Ames is coming off one of the biggest wins in his career, defeating the world's top players to take the recent Players Championship. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Ames became a Canadian citizen in December 2003 and he and his family now call Calgary home year round. With his recent win, Ames rocketed up the Official World Golf Rankings to 27th place, up from 64th place which led to an invitation to play at the Masters. The win also moved him up to 6th place on the current 2006 PGA Tour Money List.

About Making the Connection

Making the Connection is a partnership that includes the Canadian Lipid Nurse Network (CLNN), the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation (CACR), Diabetes Quebec (DQ), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) and Pfizer Canada. Since its inception in 2001, Making the Connection has helped Canadians become better informed about their heart health through its interactive website (www.makingtheconnection.ca) and toll-free information line (1-877-4-LOW-LDL), more than 50 public forums in over 35 Canadian cities, radio shows, and public awareness events. Well-known Canadian personalities Rod Black, Gaétan Boucher and Sandra Post have been working with the program since 2002. Pat Quinn joined the team in 2004, and now the program welcomes the involvement of Stephen Ames.

All of the MTC partners and celebrities have made a commitment to help Canadians understand the health risks of high cholesterol and the importance of taking steps to manage it.

"Research continues to show that lowering cholesterol reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke," says Liz Helden, Lipid Nurse Specialist, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario. "It is wonderful to see Pat, Sandra, Rod, Gaétan, and now Stephen Ames, so committed to helping motivate others to take control of their cholesterol."

New this summer, the Making the Connection program will be involved with two premier golf events, providing a unique opportunity to help promote heart-healthy living. Golf promotes physical activity, which along with following a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, plays an important role in managing cholesterol levels.

The Making the Connection Legends of Golf will bring together two of golf’s greatest legends, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, playing head-to-head June 19 and 20 at Dundarave Golf Course at The Rodd Brudenell River Resort in Prince Edward Island. (For ticket information, visit www.legendsofgolfpei.com.)

From August 6-8, Stephen Ames will play in the TELUS Skins Game at the Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff, Alberta. Ames returns to defend his TELUS Skins Game title in front of his home province fans at one of Canada's most historic golf courses. PGA Tour star Sergio Garcia joins Ames and three other players to be confirmed in April. Making the Connection will be a primary sponsor of the event.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is the designated charity for both of these events.

Keeping Cholesterol at Par

Millions of Canadians are living with high cholesterol(i). While cholesterol is necessary for important body functions, too much cholesterol in the blood can contribute to the blockage of blood vessels, which can lead to cardiovascular disease such as heart attack or stroke(ii). Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Canada(iii).

In addition to high cholesterol, other risk factors for cardiovascular disease include obesity, lack of physical activity, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking(iv). People with diabetes, a chronic disease affecting millions of Canadians, have a heightened risk for heart attack and stroke (two to four times more)(v). Managing their cholesterol can prevent or significantly delay some of the medical complications associated with diabetes.

"If you are one of the people who cannot control your cholesterol with lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise, you are not alone," said Helden. "High cholesterol is a condition that requires a lifelong commitment to control. In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, any Canadians also need the help of cholesterol-lowering medication to help manage their cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease(vi). People should not feel frustrated; just speak to a health care professional for more advice."

The interactive Making the Connection website (www.makingtheconnection.ca) and toll-free information line 1-877-4-LOW-LDL (1-877-456-9535) are valuable resources for Canadians interested in learning more about cholesterol and how it affects their health.

(i) Promoting Heart Health in Canada: A Focus on Cholesterol. P. 14. November 1991.
(ii) Heart and Stroke Foundation ww2.heartandstroke.ca/heartdisease/riskfactors/cholesterol/p.1.
(iii) Statistics Canada. Deaths, 2002. Available at http://statcan.ca.
(iv) Canadian Medical Association Journal. Recommendations for the management of dyslipidemia and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. 2003.
(v) Diabète Québec. Cardiovascular Diseases. http://www.diabete.qc.ca/html/le_diabete/complications/cardio.html
(vi) Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Risk Factors - Cholesterol. June 2001.

For further information, contact Dana Allison, Edelman at 416/979-1120, ext. 318.


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