In an ironic turn of events, American Heart Association (AHA) President John Warner suffered a minor heart attack hours after delivering his address at the flagship scientific conference in Anaheim last Monday, Nov. 13.
Genetic Predisposition For Cardiovascular Diseases
A practicing cardiologist and CEO of UT Southwestern University Hospitals, the 52-year-old Warner shared in his presidential address about how cardiovascular diseases affected his family. He shared that his family tree has no old men. While voicing out that his family may not be the only one, he encouraged everyone to take an active duty in ensuring that such pattern should change.
"I look forward to a future where people have the exact opposite experience of my family, that children grow up surrounded by so many healthy, beloved, elderly relatives that they couldn't imagine life any other way," said Warner.
The doctor earlier mentioned that both his paternal grandfather and father underwent heart bypass surgery in their 60s. His great-grandfather and maternal grandfather both died from cardiovascular diseases.
In his speech, Warner also shared his desire to broaden his involvement in improving the health of his community and make much-needed changes to impact healthcare on a larger scale. To date, Warner was pivotal in making Dallas as the ninth-largest smoke-free city.
Warner is now recovering after receiving stent insertion to open his clogged artery — a procedure that he often performs for his patients as an interventional cardiologist. He is a longtime AHA volunteer before he served as the organization's head last July. During his stint as president, Warner worked tirelessly to represent the AHA and its goals. Scientific Sessions are often the highlight of an AHA president's tenure.
AHA CEO Nancy Brown shared that Warner wanted his experience to highlight the need to do more in terms of diagnosing and treating heart diseases because cardiovascular events like his heart attack can still occur.
Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Rate
The American Heart Association (AHA) 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update reported that cardiovascular diseases remain as the leading cause of death among Americans. It stated that about 6.5 million individuals suffer from heart failures. By 2030, these numbers can rise to more than 8 million — a 46 percent increase in just a short span of 13 years.
Just recently, the AHA released its new set of guidelines for patients with hypertension lowering the high blood pressure reading to 130/80 mmHg from a previous of 140/90 mmHg.