The sudden heart attack that killed NBC newsman Tim Russert yesterday has shocked the country.

But even more shocking is how many people — over a million — have sudden heart attacks every year, often without warnings or symptoms, in the U.S. And how many die: about a third.

And the symptoms of a heart attack may not be the traditional chest or arm pains.

Until today, I had no idea that abdominal or jaw pain can be a symptom of an impending heart attack.

Russert might have thought he simply had indigestion.

This is so sad and very scary. And a darn good reason to get a complete checkup, eat right, lose weight, stop smoking, lower stress, watch your cholesterol, get off the couch, whatever.

Will Russert’s death inspire you to change your lifestyle, get a checkup, and/or lose weight?

As Tim used to say so often, "Thank you for sharing your views."

Photo: Tim Russert at Harvard University in 2005.
Credit: WireImage

Posted by:Elizabeth Snead