Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tim Russert's Heart Attack
I was saddened to hear of Tim Russert's passing on the 13th of June. I enjoyed him on Meet the Press and I was a fan of his rhetoric. He seemed to be a man who reveled in a job well done. Russert apparently died of a heart attack.
Since my brother-in-law is a cardiologist I'm well aware of phrases like 'He or she needs to watch the waist.' "Well, I recommend he/she lose the weight as soon as possible.' 'Watch the waist.'
Just a few days ago my father and I were talking about Russert and heart attacks in general. The subject of the brother-in-law came up as well. It's amazing how we're always agreeing with what he says medically. And the best way he convinces his patients and his loved ones that health is indeed crucial is by doing what he preaches. The guy has always been lean.
The NY Times is featuring a piece on his heart problems and the reasons why he had the heart attack. A few bits say:
"“If there’s one number that’s a predictor of mortality, it’s waist circumference,” said Dr. Michael A. Newman, Mr. Russert’s internist.
But, Dr. Newman added, most people would rather focus on their LDL cholesterol, instead of taking measures to reduce their waist size. Studies have found a waist of over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women is a risk factor for heart disease.
Mr. Russert’s cholesterol was not high, and medicine controlled his high blood pressure pretty well, Dr. Newman said. But, he added, Mr. Russert was “significantly overweight.” He also had a dangerous combination of other risk factors: high triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, and a low level of HDL, the “good cholesterol” that can help the body get rid of the bad cholesterol that can damage arteries.
Blockages start out as cholesterol deposits in the artery walls that turn into lesions or plaques, narrowing the vessels. Heart attacks occur when a plaque ruptures, causing a blood clot that quickly closes the artery and pinches off the blood supply to part of the heart."
graph per ny times