Heart disease is still the biggest killer in the United States, even though fewer people die from from heart attack and cardiac arrest than ever before.
A lot of the decrease is because we know what our hearts do and do not like; cigarettes make them sick but they like when we eat well, exercise and don't strain them with added weight. But, most people don't really know much about how blood pressure and cholesterol contribute to heart disease or how to recognize the symptoms that lead to a heart attack.
Also, one of the biggest lifesavers for people who have heart attacks that lead to cardiac arrest is the person on the street who starts CPR before the ambulance arrives. But, a lot of people don't know how to do it and if they do, are afraid to use it. Doctors and paramedics do a lot these days to prevent the worst effects of heart disease and help us manage it if we have it, but the best way to avoid a broken heart lies with us.
Lastly, while we've come a long way in mending broken hearts, there remains a stubbornly high rate of valuable studies that go unpublished. And, according to NIH's Dr. Michael Lauer, if a research project is never published, it's as if it never happened.
- Dr. Anita Kelsey - Cardiologist and Director of the Women’s Heart Program at St. Francis
- Cynthia Williams - Resident of Hartford who is recovering from open-heart surgery
- Peter Canning - Paramedic and EMS Coordinator at John Dempsey Hospital. He’s the author of four books including Paramedic: On the Front Lines of Medicine
- Dr. Nihar Desai - Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Cardiovascular Medicine Section of the Yale School of Medicine and an Investigator in the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation
Colin McEnroe, Betsy Kaplan, Chion Wolf, and Greg Hill contributed to this show.