Hospitalized with Heart Problems: Robin Williams & Barbara Bush

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heart healthUpdate: Robin Williams is currently in the hospital set to have surgery very soon. After experiencing shortness of breath, he was diagnosed with defective aortic valve. He will have to have aortic valve replacement, which is fairly common but risky. During surgery, the heart is temporarily stopped while a machine pumps blood through the body. Fingers crossed for Robin Williams.

This morning, Cafe MichelleL in Entertainment Buzz reported that Robin Williams postponed his one-man show, Weapons of Self Destruction, because he's in a Miami hospital with heart problems.

Meanwhile in Texas, former first lady Barbara Bush, had successful open-heart surgery in Houston. She's currently in the hospital recovering.

We're still waiting to hear more about Robin Williams' condition--Cafe MichelleL reports he should go home later today. He's now 57, and he's known to have partied hard and not taken care of his body as a younger comedian--around the time he was on Mork & Mindy. Do you remember that show, or am I showing my advancing age? For the record, I am only old enough to have seen the reruns.

Barbara Bush, however, was short of breath last week, and her doctors scheduled surgery. She is 83. Reports says she's doing well.

What about our risks for heart problems?

I read a recent study that says depression increases risk for heart disease more than genetics does. In twins with high genetic risk, those who were clinically depressed were more likely to suffer from heart conditions. Those who weren't depressed, but still had genetic tendencies, did not see heart problems.

Do you have heart conditions in your family? I definitely do. Remember that women are at risk for heart attacks, too.

The American Heart association reminds us that March is National Nutrition Month. Good diet and exercise are top ways to take care of your heart. Here are their diet and fitness recommendations:

  1. Know and limit how much fat you eat.
  2. Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them with added saturated and trans fat.
  3. Eat at least two servings of fish a week.
  4. Select fat-free, 1 percent fat and low-fat dairy products.'Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
  5. Cut back on foods high in cholesterol.
  6. Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugar.
  7. Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt.
  8. Most importantly, get at least 30 minutes of moderately intense activity five days of the week.

Warm thoughts and nanu-nanu to Robin Wiliams, Barbara Bush and anyone else suffering from heart conditions. Read this discussion about CafeMoms who live with many different diseases in the group The Cafe @ CafeMom.

How many of the heart healthy tips from the list above do you incorporate into your life? I'm pretty good on most of them, except I do love my full-fat dairy products--I try to keep my portions small.

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