LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — NFL legend Dick Butkus had none of the warning signs of heart disease, but the results from a health screening he took when he was in his 50’s were shocking.

The former linebacker had five of his arteries blocked.

According to Butkus, his life was saved thanks to the early detection of the blockage.

Now, Butkus has given his name to a St. Joseph Health Screening center in Orange county, which on Friday, was filled with NFL alumni getting screenings.

“I feel kind of good about it because we’re saving lives,” Butkus said.

“You know you can see these guys walk in and out and you try to think well, he’s going to score high, or you know, the thin guy comes and in and think he’s guna be low, but it’s the dead opposite, so this is why this test is so important,” he added.

Don Macek, who played with the San Diego Chargers in the 70’s and 80’s, got a CAT scan Friday, searching for calcium in his coronary arteries, which according to doctors, could lead to a heart attack.

Dr Larry Santora told CBS2/KCAL9’s Michele Gile that, “Their mass was their product, you know, big, a lot of them overweight, and so once they got out of there, they became even less fit, and less health conscious, so they are at risk for cardivasular disease.”

Friday’s screenings also included prostate and mental health exams, with about 60 former NFL players consulting doctors.

The event was paid for by the NFL player care charitable foundation.


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