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Tim Russert was my favorite news politico.  He was easy to understand, accessible, incredibly intelligent and asked the tough questions while putting people at ease.  When he died in 2008, the news world lost a great talent.  I lost a man that I admired.  Those men are hard to come by.  Sure, it was from a distance that I knew him, but I miss him.

This Sunday morning at Meet the Press was coming on with the presenter who replaced him, I decided to dig into what really killed Tim Russert.  It was a heart attack but now I understand what that is and wanted more details.  While reading some of the details, I felt sadness for the loss.  And also some fear.

Heart disease is so prevalent in our country and incredibly insidious.  Russert’s doctors thought his was under control, my doctors thought my heart was in good shape.  While all along death was waiting to happen.  The numbers are staggering. I feel like putting on a sandwich board and walking the downtown streets of every city with them painted in red.  And on the other side of the board, photos of people who had no idea that this disease was planning a take over of their lives.  It’s shocking because heart disease doesn’t play favorites.  Ever.

Taken from the Web MD article:

What would you want women to keep in mind, because it’s the No. 1 killer of women as well?

Patterson: My comments to women are these. The No. 1 disease women are afraid of is breast cancer, but the No. 1 cause of death in women is heart disease. The second point to make is symptoms of heart disease are frequently much more subtle in women and much more difficult to diagnose, so women shouldn’t allow themselves to be judged by the same standards as men in terms of whether or not they’re having symptoms of heart disease or whether or not they’re at risk for heart disease.

Ostfeld: Women are approximately six to seven times more likely to die from heart disease than they are from breast cancer. Clearly, you do not want either, but it highlights how critically important it is for women to take their heart health very seriously as well.

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.