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Houston Texans give Methodist DeBakey Heart Center $30,000 grant for heart disease research

Houston, TX - 6/14/2007

The Houston Texans this week gave the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center a $30,000 research grant, the third annual gift the NFL team has made to Methodist in support of heart disease research, bringing total donations from the Texans to $135,000.

“Methodist is an outstanding community partner,” said Texans owner Bob McNair at the check presentation ceremony held in front of the Methodist Training Center at Reliant Park. “We are honored to team with them by supporting such a high standard of research.” McNair presented the check with Texans Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. This year $50,000 of Texans funding will go towards the study of electrical impulses that control the heartbeat. Miguel Valderrabano, M.D., electrophysiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, and Dirar Khoury, Ph.D., research scientist at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, will study novel ways to prevent atrial fibrillation, irregular heart beats that can lead to heart failure.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm abnormality. It affects more than two million Americans, is responsible for one-third of all strokes in patients over 65 years old, and annually costs $9 billion to manage.

“Current medical therapy for managing this disease is often ineffective and, at times, can provoke other rhythm disorders,” said Valderrabano. “We will explore an idea that could provide patients with a more effective and more tolerable option for treatment and shift paradigms in the management of atrial fibrillation.”

Past research conducted at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and funded by Texans’ grants has supported the study of vulnerable plaques that can build up in the arteries causing heart attacks or strokes.

For more information on the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, see www.debakeyheartcenter.com. For more information on The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, see www.methodistresearch.com.