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Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. What should you know to keep your heart strong and disease free? 


Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

When Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher died suddenly last year after suffering a cardiac arrest on an airplane at the age of 60, many women wondered: would they know if they were in the midst of a heart problem?

In today’s TPR Lifeline, Bioscience-Medicine reporter Wendy Rigby talks to Dr. James Watts, Chief of Cardiology at Brooke Army Medical Center about what women and men need to know when it comes to symptoms of a life-threatening problem. Here's a transcript of the interview.

Kim Stewart

We’ve all heard stories about healthy young athletes who trot onto the football field and die from an undetected heart problem. A San Antonio foundation wants to keep those sudden deaths from claiming young lives. Thousands of teens are lining up for tests that could change their lives, or even save their lives.

Jake Stewart of San Antonio has already had a lot of success on the football field playing for Clark High School. This year, the 17-year-old is heading into his senior year serving as the Cougars quarterback.

Millions of Americans take baby aspirin every day to prevent a heart attack or stroke. If they are at high risk of heart disease, they're doing the right thing, according to draft recommendations issued Monday by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

We've all heard that an aspirin a day can keep heart disease at bay. But lots of Americans seem to be taking it as a preventive measure, when many probably shouldn't.

In a recent national survey, more than half the adults who were middle age or older reported taking an aspirin regularly to prevent a heart attack or stroke. The Food and Drug Administration only recommends the drug for people wh have already experienced such an event or are at extremely high risk.