COMMENTS: Preventable but not Predictable

Not surprisingly, NBC closed its newscast with anchor Brian Williams summarizing the weekend of mourning for DC bureau chief Tim Russert: "We have been overwhelmed, by the way, with the outpouring of sympathy." All three newscasts used Russert's sudden, unpredicted, fatal heart attack as a hook to offer a primer on heart disease. It is an illness that kills 451,000 Americans annually, according to ABC's A Closer Look; 300,000 according to CBS. NBC's Robert Bazell and CBS' in-house physician Jon LaPook and ABC's John McKenzie (embargoed link) all made the point that a cardiac arrest such as the one that killed Russert--an artery rupture from a piece of plaque that is too small to detect in a stress test--cannot be predicted but can be prevented. Prevention tips that all three mentioned consisted of keeping cholesterol low, avoiding cigarettes, exercising regularly and maintaining a normal weight. Bazell and LaPook threw in being non-diabetic, having normal blood pressure and making regular visits to one's physician. Bazell, alone, recommended living a stressfree life, even as he reported that Russert's lifestyle, while busy, even frenetic, was not stressful because it was not negative.


You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.