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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.

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