In 1987, infamous journalist Larry King awoke in the Intensive Care Unit of a New York hospital after undergoing successful quintuple bypass heart surgery. For almost a year, his heart had been failing as a result of cardiovascular disease. Larry had insurance so his hospital bills were covered, but some people don't have medical insurance. So Larry made a promise to himself to help others with medical bills.
He started the Larry King Cardiac Foundation in 1988 to provide funding for life-saving treatment for individuals who, due to limited means or no insurance, would otherwise be unable to receive the treatment and care they so desperately need. The Foundation works in conjunction with hospitals throughout the nation to ensure that such patients receive proper medical attention. Doctors performing these surgeries do so at no charge. Lives are saved and families are given a second chance.
The CDC reports Heart Disease as the number one cause of death among Americans, stating that about every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. In 2009, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 will have a recurrent attack.
The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack are crucial to the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. People who have survived a heart attack can also work to reduce their risk of another heart attack or a stroke in the future.
The Larry King Cardiac Foundation is a non-profit organization funded from the proceeds of Mr. King's books, speaking engagements, and from entertainment galas conducted in New York City, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. The LKCF is affiliated with seven premier Cardiac Centers: Children's National Medical Center and George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, New York Presbyterian: The University Hospital of Columbia and Weill Cornell University Medical Center in New York, NY, St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. LKCF also works in conjunction with Venice Family Clinic in Venice, California.
Larry King is just one of the more than 60 million people in the United States who suffers from heart disease. In his book, Taking on Heart Disease, Larry solicits the help of his celebrity friends to recount their personal triumphs over heart disease in an effort to educate the ever-growing number of heart disease victims. Some of the best cardiologists in the world discuss prevention and treatment methods in the book.
The Larry King Cardiac Foundation has made their goal to "Save a Heart a Day." For more information on heart disease and stroke, please visit CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. For a full list of diseases and conditions along with risk factors and other health information associated with heart disease, visit the American Heart Association.
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