Heart Health, With Apologies to George Carlin

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The Checkup
Copyright 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008; 7:41 AM

I was wondering why political commentator Tim Russert's death from a heart attack spurred so much media chatter about cardiovascular health while comedian George Carlin's heart-failure death soon after did not. Maybe everybody already had said everything they had to say on the subject, I figured. Then I came across this news item, which at first made me roll my eyes: a cardiologist at the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill School of Medicine has come up with a list of "Seven Dirty Words About Heart Disease," a play, of course, on Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV." (Sorry I'm not providing a link here, but you can't say those seven words in The Checkup, either.) Once I stopped rolling my eyes and actually read the list, though, it struck me as a pretty handy roundup of the key elements affecting heart health. Cam Patterson, chief of


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