Tim Russert's Death: Questions, Answers
Get Answers to Questions About Tim Russert's Heart Attack -- And Your Own Risk
What else would you want to add?
Ostfeld: If someone looking for a magic bullet to protect themselves
from heart disease, the closest thing we have to that is exercise. It is
healthy for us in so many ways. I would encourage people, under the guidance of
their physician, to structure an exercise
plan that works for you.
Patterson: Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death and disability
in our society. We've done a great job reducing the amount of heart disease in
the United States over the past several decades, but it's still the No. 1
health problem that we face. And we've got a long way to go to get to the point
of a) being able to diagnose problems like vulnerable plaque and b) being able
to reduce the risk of heart disease to zero. And those are the two goals that
really stand at the forefront of cardiovascular care.
Zipes: Stress the importance of having a defibrillator available and
to use it promptly. One of the things I've advocated for some time is that
youngsters in high school or even younger be taught how to use a defibrillator
and then to have them as available as fire extinguishers.
It's something someone that young could master?
Zipes: Without question; absolutely. There are studies, actually,
showing that grade-school kids can learn how to use a defibrillator. I've
advocated that like you learn driving or typing or whatever; this ought to be
part of public health education.
Editor's note: Zipes spoke
with WebMD before Russert's doctor, Michael Newman, MD, told CNN's Larry King
that Russert had been treated with a defibrillator three times after collapsing
at NBC and before arriving at hospital. Newman wasn't sure why
defibrillation didn't save Russert, but he told King that successful
defibrillation may be harder in large people with large hearts.