NEW YORK, July 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Most baseball players worry about statistics like batting averages, strikeouts and stolen bases. Today, baseball legends are uniting to spread the word about a different kind of statistic: the up to two million people affected each year in the US by deep- vein thrombosis (DVT) blood clots, which may be fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated. In fact, complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people annually in the US.
Baseball greats Tony Gwynn, Phil Niekro, Rollie Fingers, Paul Blair, Dennis Eckersley, Terry Francona, Jim Fregosi and Aaron Cook -- who have all been touched by DVT in some way -- have united for the second DVT Blood Clots: Know The Stats. Know Your Risk. campaign, a national program to educate the public about the signs, symptoms and risk factors for DVT.
"It is so important to me to be part of this program," said Niekro, whose father died from complications of DVT. "No one should ever have to lose a loved one to a condition that in most cases is preventable. If I can help raise awareness of this condition, I know my father would be proud."
Together, Niekro, Blair and former NY Mets shortstop Fregosi will kick off this year's program by throwing out the first pitch at tonight's NY Mets game at Shea Stadium. During the game, Niekro, Blair and Fregosi will encourage fans to assess their risk at a DVT kiosk located in the stadium concourse. A DVT awareness video featuring Tony Gwynn will also play during the famed Seventh Inning Stretch.
"Risk factors for DVT include obesity, advanced age, and restricted mobility," said Dr. Geno Merli, Ludwig Kind Professor of Medicine and Director Jefferson Center for Vascular Diseases, Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "Knowing the signs and symptoms associated with this condition is key to helping reduce the risk of DVT and its complications."
To learn more about DVT symptoms and assess their risk, people must speak to their healthcare professional. In addition, they can visit the DVT kiosks and celebrities this summer at the participating ballparks below:
* Tony Gwynn and Rollie Fingers at PETCO Park, San Diego - July 18 & 19
* Terry Francona and Dennis Eckersley at Fenway Park, Boston - July 28
* Paul Blair, Aaron Cook, Jim Fregosi, Tony Gwynn and Phil Niekro at
All-Star FanFest, Pittsburgh, PA -July 8-12
DVT Blood Clots: Know The Stats. Know Your Risk. is brought to you by sanofi-aventis. Sanofi-aventis is committed to raising awareness of DVT through various programs.
About DVT and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
DVT blood clots affect up to 2 million Americans each year, and complications kill up to 200,000 people in the U.S. annually -- more than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Yet, most Americans (74 percent) have little or no awareness of DVT, according to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association.
DVT is a condition resulting from the formation of a blood clot inside a deep vein, commonly located in the calf or thigh. DVT occurs when the blood clot either partially or completely blocks the flow of blood in the vein. A PE is a potentially life-threatening complication and occurs when a fragment of a blood clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs. Symptoms of a PE may include shortness of breath, rapid pulse, excessive sweating, sharp chest pain and very low blood pressure.
DVT can strike almost anyone at risk. Factors and conditions that may increase the risk of DVT include: immobility, injury, obesity, smoking, oral contraceptives, pregnancy, surgery and or/illnesses including cancer.
Treatments for DVT include early mobilization, sequential compression devices to prevent blood clotting, and anticoagulants and/or blood-thinning drugs. It is important to consult your healthcare professional about the signs and symptoms associated with DVT.
For more information and a free risk assessment kit, visit http://www.dvt.net/mydvtrisk or call 1-866-MY-DVT-RISK.
Sanofi-aventis is the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE:SNY)
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