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WTTW Press Room

For Immediate Release
January 17, 2007

The South Beach Heart Program

Arthur Agatston, M.D.'s 4-Step Plan That Can Save Your Life

Coming to PBS in March, 2007

Special WTTW11 preview on Sunday, January 28 at 5:30 pm

Chicago, IL – Heart attacks and strokes can be prevented. Yet there are nearly 900,000 new and recurrent heart attacks and 700,000 strokes in the United States each year. With the medical knowledge we already possess, why do nearly 500,000 women and over 400,000 men die of cardiovascular disease annually? 

In The South Beach Heart Program, a WTTW11-produced program airing on PBS as part of the March 2007 pledge drive and in a special Chicago-only preview airing on Sunday, January 28 at 5:30 p.m., Dr. Arthur Agatston describes the reason as a difference in practice, what he calls the "plumbing" versus "healing" approach to treating heart disease. According to Agatston, "The majority of people in this country are being treated with an out of date "plumber's" approach to heart disease. This is despite the experience of a growing number of physicians using a "healer's" approach. The healers are seeing heart attacks disappearing from their medical practices.  This little known fact is one of the best-kept secrets in America today."

In his cardiology practice, Agatston has helped his patients avoid having invasive heart procedures like angioplasties and coronary bypasses. He rarely sees a heart attack or stroke among his patients. In PBS's The South Beach Heart Program, he explains why seemingly healthy people can suddenly have a heart attack and explains the cardinal signals of serious cardiac complications. He also enlightens viewers on why heart imaging and advanced blood testing can save lives when used for most men over 40 and most postmenopausal women over 50 and why traditional screening tests are often too inaccurate. Dr. Agatston also describes and helps viewers understand why physical elements, like belly fat,  play such an important role as a cardiac risk factor and as an early warning sign for future heart disease.

Says Agatston, "Our healthcare system's incentives favor invasive approaches for heart disease even though studies indicate that noninvasive strategies work better. The South Beach Heart Program can help people partner with their physicians to manage their own heart health and keep heart attacks at bay."

The South Beach Heart Program

In this WTTW produced PBS special Dr. Agatston draws on a wealth of research and personal experience from his more than 30 years as practicing cardiologist, and provides viewers with an engaging and  comprehensive look at heart health and the risk factors associated with heart disease. He shares the 4-step program that has helped so many of his patients avoid invasive procedures and lead long and healthy lives.  Based on the January, 2007 book release (Rodale) of the same name, The South Beach Heart Program includes discussion of the following:

" Heart-healthy eating, following the principles of The South Beach Diet
"  Heart-healthy functional fitness, including cardio and core exercises
" State-of-the-art advanced blood testing and noninvasive heart imaging
" Heart-protective medications, as necessary

"This program is designed to help people partner with their physicians to manage their own heart health and do all they can to reverse heart disease and prevent heart attacks and strokes using a noninvasive approach," Agatston says.

The South Beach Heart Program is a production of WTTW National Productions/Chicago  The program is hosted by Arthur Agatston, M.D., and will debut on PBS stations across the country (check local listings) during March 2007 pledge.  This special Chicago-area-only preview will be seen on WTTW11 on Sunday, January 28 at 5:30 p.m.

Underwriters: Public Television Viewers, WTTW, and PBS. Executive Producer: Fran Harth.  Producers: Nicolette Ferri and Jerry Liwanag.  Director: Jack Ginay. Format: CC Stereo

About Arthur Agatston, M.D.

Arthur Agatston, M.D. FACC, is a cardiologist and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Over the years, Dr. Agatston's pioneering work in noninvasive cardiac imaging has resulted in computed tomography scanning methods and measures for screening coronary calcium that continue to bear his name. Today the Agatston Method and the Agatston Score are recognized worldwide.  He has published over 100 scientific papers and abstracts and has reviewed manuscripts for many of the leading cardiology and internal medicine journals. 

In 2004, Dr. Agatston founded The Agatston Research Foundation for the purpose of conducting and funding original research on diet, cardiac and disease prevention. His goal is to educate and empower both his patients and the public about healthy lifestyle choices and disease prevention, encouraging the practice of such prevention in America and throughout the world. In creating The Agatston Research Foundation, Dr. Agatston is fulfilling a personal dream to play an important role in the ongoing revolution in cardiac prevention going on in America. The Agatston Research Foundation is dedicated to improving the heart health and wellness of the nation through research, education and prevention.

Dr. Agatston lectures extensively on preventive cardiology both nationally and internationally. In addition to his work with his wife, Sari, on the South Beach Diet and The Agatston Research Foundation, Dr. Agatston maintains a full-time cardiology practice in Miami Beach, where they reside. The Agatstons have two sons, currently attending college.

The South Beach Heart Program for PBS is Dr. Agatston's first national television production.  The South Beach Heart Program is a production of WTTW National Productions/Chicago. 

The South Beach Heart Program will have a special Chicago-only sneak preview on Sunday, January 28 at 5:30 pm on WTTW11.

WTTW11 Contact
Holly H. Gilson
Director, Corporate Communication
(773) 509-5424

Shaunese Teamer
(773) 509-5441

Arthur Agatston, M.D.
c/o Lori Ferme, Rubenstein Communications, Inc.
(212) 843-8291

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