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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Oct 30, 2023

With Dr. Kim Eagle, a cardiologist from the University of Michigan and the Director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center.


Did you know that October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month? What is a sudden cardiac arrest and how does it differ from a heart attack? Although the two are thought to be similar, they are actually quite different. A heart attack occurs when there is an insufficient flow of blood to the heart. This is typically caused by a circulatory problem such as a blockage or an Aneurysm. But a sudden cardiac arrest results from “an electrical failure” where the heart malfunctions due to an irregular rhythm and suddenly stops beating. While a heart attack may be preceded by a history of warning symptoms, such as fatigue or shortness of breath, a sudden cardiac arrest or SCA usually occurs without warning, and in 95% of the cases, it will be fatal. Although an unexpected blow to the chest, such as the one suffered by the Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin, could disrupt the heart’s electrical rhythm, an acute onset of emotional distress or anxiety could also trigger life-threatening arrhythmias. The signs of sudden cardiac arrest are a sudden collapse and the loss of consciousness. If a person has stopped breathing after collapsing, it is likely they’re experiencing an SCA. It is critical to act immediately by calling 911 and promptly administering CPR. The likelihood of survival may increase if you have access to a portable defibrillator, more commonly known as an AED. These devices are frequently found in public places such as sports stadiums and come equipped with voice-guided instructions for use by untrained individuals. Prior to her death in October of 2023, Florine recorded an interview with Dr. Kim Eagle, a renowned cardiologist from the University of Michigan and the Director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center. If you want to learn more about the signs and symptoms of heart disease and the simple lifestyle changes that could lessen your risk of a heart attack, please listen to Florine’s interview with Dr. Eagle.


Please note: This episode was previously recorded prior to Florine’s death in October of 2023.


What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

  • How does heart disease impact other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity?

  • What type of screening occurs for cardiac health?

  • The importance of getting an annual physical.

  • How does the lack of resources affect those who get treated for cardiovascular disease?

  • What are four simple things we can do to improve our heart health today?

  • What foods should we avoid for heart disease, and which should we try to eat more of?

  • What about coffee or alcohol?

  • How regular exercise helps to extend our life span.

  • How Dr. Kim gets in his 10,000+ steps a day.


Today’s Takeaway:

I want to thank Dr. Kim Eagle for being my guest today. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every 36 seconds, someone in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease. On an annual basis, every one in four deaths in the U.S. are caused by heart disease. Since 2014, the financial toll in the U.S. from heart-related deaths including medical services, prescription drugs, and loss of productivity due to death exceeds $219 billion per year. That’s $219 billion and this year's numbers might well exceed that figure due to the complications of COVID-19! Something’s got to change. If you want to ensure that you and your loved ones don’t become part of these statistics, Dr. Eagle has given us four simple changes that you can implement today. If you just follow his suggestions, you can lessen your risk of developing heart disease. I’m Florine Mark, and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”



  • When we talk to patients about trying to understand their risk and prevent future events, the first thing is to start with understanding their numbers, and that requires them to work with a doctor.” — Dr. Eagle [4:52]

  • “It's very important to have an annual physical.” — Dr. Eagle [6:05]

  • “Cardiovascular disease and resources matter.” — Dr. Eagle [6:35]

  • “When there is a disparity of socio-economic status, this can then lead to a lack of access to medical care, preventive therapies, and so forth.” — Dr. Eagle [7:51]

  • “If you look at your plate, you want your plate to be rich in color, full of fruits and fresh vegetables.” — Dr. Eagle [12:07]

  • “A Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, where the protein is a healthy protein.” — Dr. Eagle [13:11]

  • “Any movement at all is incredibly healthy for cardiovascular health, and also mental health.” — Dr. Eagle [16:37]


Brought to You By:

Gardner White Furniture


Mentioned in This Episode:

Dr. Kim Eagle Frankel Cardiovascular Center, University of Michigan Health