May 5, 2010

NFL Great Joe Theismann on Triple A - and not the Baseball League

Posted: 11:52 AM ET

Joe Theismann is the former quarterback for the Washington Redskins and current analyst on the NFL Network.  His commentary is an LKL Web Exclusive.

Football is a passion of mine, no doubt. As a former player, and current NFL Network analyst, I love everything about the game.  I’m truly thankful for a professional career that has spanned more than three decades, and provided me with the opportunity to lend my voice to important public health issues. And these days, I’m passionate about bringing awareness to a silent, but preventable, killer called abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), or “Triple A.”

Right now in the United States, there are one million people walking around with an AAA, and they don’t know it. My dad was one of those people.  A few years ago, he was diagnosed with an AAA during a routine exam.  He’s that breed of guy that says… “don’t worry, I’m fine”…no matter what’s going on.  I went along with it, but should have known better.  Had his AAA not been detected early, he probably wouldn’t be with me today.

Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of AAA – until my Dad was diagnosed, I had no idea what AAA was or that it could be fatal.  But here are the facts:

1. AAA is a ballooning of the abdominal aorta, the artery that carries blood to the lower part of the body

2. If an AAA goes undetected it can rupture, and only 10 percent of people will survive

3. Risk factors are common – smokers, heart problems, age 60+, family history

4. AAA can be detected and treated.  A simple, ultrasound screening can help save lives

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Filed under: Health • Joe Theismann • LKL Web Exclusive • Sports

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