SOURCE: Novartis

February 04, 2007 08:00 ET

Joe Montana Visits Miami to Raise Awareness of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) and Its Impact on Health

Joe Montana Is Joined by Dr. James Rippe to Tackle High Blood Pressure, a Major Health Issue; Hypertension Affects Approximately 72 Million Adults in the U.S., According to the American Heart Association; Free Book to Help You or a Loved One Manage High Blood Pressure

EAST HANOVER, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 4, 2007 -- Super Bowl XLI excitement is in the air and football legend Joe Montana is once again part of the action. This time, though, the action is off the field and his teammate is Harvard-trained cardiologist James Rippe, MD. "Joe Cool" is talking about something close to his heart -- high blood pressure, or hypertension.

Montana and Dr. Rippe have been traveling the country for over four years as part of a high blood pressure education program BP Success Zone, sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NYSE: NVS). The initiative encourages patients to work with a healthcare professional to help set, achieve and maintain a healthier blood pressure goal. Most recently, Montana and Dr. Rippe teamed up with Joe's wife Jennifer and a nutritionist and fitness expert to offer a free book, "Joe Montana's Family Playbook for Managing High Blood Pressure," designed to help people manage their high blood pressure and achieve a healthier lifestyle.

"Dr. Rippe and I are thrilled to be part of this year's Super Bowl festivities in an effort to increase awareness of the consequences of uncontrolled high blood pressure," said Montana. "I want people to know that if a four-time Super Bowl champion can have high blood pressure, anyone can. But they should also know that if I can manage high blood pressure and keep it below 120/80 mm Hg, so can they." (Individual results may vary.)

High blood pressure: Joe Montana's story

Despite feeling fit and healthy, Montana was diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2002. Through his experience, he learned that managing high blood pressure is not that hard once you're on the right treatment program, but the consequences of not taking action are irreversible. Through lifestyle changes and the right medication, Montana has worked to get his blood pressure controlled and now wants to help others achieve success. With help from Dr. Rippe, Montana is focused on educating the millions of people out there who don't realize they have high blood pressure or don't think they need to do anything about it.

For more information about high blood pressure and other risk factors that may impact overall cardiovascular health, or to order a FREE copy of "Joe Montana's Family Playbook for Managing High Blood Pressure," visit or call 1-877-GET-BP-DOWN (1-877-438-2736).

About high blood pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is diagnosed when blood pressure is consistently 140/90 mm Hg or higher in most people. At this level, the pressure inside the blood vessels is too strong and may be causing damage to arteries throughout the body -- and significantly increases the risk of damage to the heart, brain and kidneys. In fact, high blood pressure is so damaging that people who have a blood pressure over 160/90 mm Hg are four times more likely to suffer a stroke compared to those without the condition.

About Novartis

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation researches, develops, manufacturers and markets leading innovative prescription drugs used to treat a number of diseases and conditions, including central nervous system disorders, organ transplantation, cardiovascular diseases, dermatological diseases, respiratory disorders, cancer and arthritis. The company's mission is to improve people's lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions.

About BP Success Zone

The BP Success Zone program, sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, encourages patients with high blood pressure to work with their healthcare professionals to set a blood pressure goal, define a treatment plan and work together to reach and maintain that blood pressure goal. If your blood pressure is too high, it's important to get into the BP Success Zone (less than 140/90 mm Hg to 120/80 mm Hg and below). The medications associated with this program are approved to treat high blood pressure, and are not approved to prevent heart attack, stroke or kidney disease resulting from high blood pressure.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Joan Harmeyer
    Novartis Pharma Communications
    Tel 862 778 7286
    Email Contact