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What does Russert's death mean for cardiology?
Tim Russert's fatal heart attack "underlines some painful truths" about the medical field.
 

What happened
The highly publicized heart attack and death of Tim Russert, former moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, spurred a discussion among doctors and patients about cardiology and its limitations. Russert was overweight but generally health-conscious, so the news of his death resonated with many Americans, and raised questions about whether they're doing enough to minimize heart risks.

What the commentators said
"Mr. Russert’s fate underlines some painful truths," said Denise Grady in The New York Times. "A doctor’s care is not a protective bubble, and cardiology is not the exact science that many people wish it to be." Russert took medications for blood pressure and cholesterol, rode an exercise bike, had yearly tests, "and was dutifully trying to lose weight. But he died of a heart attack anyway."

Actually, Russert did exhibit some early warning signs, said Delthia Ricks in California's Monterey County Herald. He had "elevated blood sugar, a thickened heart muscle," extensive clogged arteries, and possibly hypertension. The "age-old mantra—don't smoke, do exercise, maintain a healthful weight, and eat well"—is still good advice. But it's no guarantee of good health.

And don't forget stress, said Brittney Johnson in The Washington Post. Stress is a "common concern" in the discussion of heart disease, but there are ways to alleviate stress. If you're a busy person like Russert was, "schedule leisure time into" your calendar the same way you would plan an important meeting. Get enough sleep, avoid overeating, and take care of yourself.

 

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