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Friday, June 20, 2008

More on Tim Russert's Death

This is the best article that I've found to assimilate the medical facts and fictions with respect to Tim Russert's death.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tim Russert

Tim Russert's death at age 58 has drawn a lot of attention to coronary artery disease, particularly because of his young age.

There has been so much speculation about what occurred. What we do know is that he had coronary artery disease, he was overweight, and he was a diabetic. He had "passed" (whatever that means) a stress test recently.

In all of the scare over coronary disease and sudden cardiac death, there is one thing to keep in mind: the vast majority of them do not occur out of thin air. Most people who have cardiac events had at least one risk factor, whether that be diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, a history of smoking, or a strong family history of coronary disease. I can think of only very few cases where there was no significant traditional cardiac risk factor.

The bottom line remains the same: Know and manage your risk factors. If you do not know your blood pressure or have not had your blood drawn recently to determine your cholesterol and electrolytes, then it's time to see a doctor for a check-up. And if you do have risk factors, they need to be managed with appropriate medications, diet, and exercise.

But, most important here is how we take care of our bodies. By eating well and exercising, the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia is significantly reduced; and as a result the risk of coronary artery disease is far less.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Bonelli Olympic Distance Triathlon

On the day before this race, I rode 47 miles, rounded on 19 cardiac patients, drank a Corona.... and still I had my fastest Olympic triathlon yet!

That said, this was not my "A" race. It's a concept that I'm getting used to. My "A" race will be Vineman 70.3, my first half ironman distance triathlon, which is in *gasp* six weeks.

Swim -- Don't ever put on sunscreen and then use the same sunscreen covered fingers to wipe out your goggle lenses. Baaaad idea. After a lot of rubbing, the lenses were clear. This was a small race, so maybe only 50 or 60 women, I think. The good thing is that there were fewer thrashing limbs to contend with in the water. However, on the flip side, I'm used to following a pack of swimmers, so I had to use a little more effort to make sure I was swimming in the correct direction.

Bike -- Three loops. I think the women were the last olympic distance wave. So, men who were on lap 2 or 3 on the course whizzed by. On my third lap, the quantity of cyclists on the course had thinned out, and a police officer directing traffic asked me, "Are there many more behind you?" "Yes there are," I responded, in deluding myself that perhaps many others at my pace or slower were still out there. How would I know how many people were behind me anyway? My bike wouldn't go into the small chain ring, which would have been helpful on a couple of hills, but wasn't a huge problem.

Run -- Due to a last minute course change, someone told me that the run was only 5.3 miles, not 6.2. Ack, ruin my celebration of beating my best olympic tri time!!!! Whatever. The run went better than my last run, but due to the small size of the race and the fact that I was in the last wave, I ran mostly alone. However, I did chat up an Australian guy who will be doing Vineman 70.3 next month also.

The End -- Never good being the last group to finish. I had to yell at some guy to get out of my way as he was meandering across the finish chute as I was sprinting in. And they ran out of Boca Burgers. Lately places are running out of veggie burgers -- are vegetarians taking over the world?

Pictures may be coming soon.