Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Heart health; Undocumented students in PA

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Feb 14, 2013 8:56 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, February 14:

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Heart disease continues to be the number one killer in America.  About one-in-four deaths are attributed to heart disease.  Some 600,000 die from heart disease every year.

Those statistics should be enough to motivate most people into healthier lifestyles, but there still are far too many Americans who don't eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, or exercise regularly.

February is American Heart Month and Thursday's Radio Smart Talk will examine the topic of heart health.

Do you take your heart health seriously?  What steps have you taken to keep your heart healthy?

Here are the major symptoms of a heart attack, as listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

1.) Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back

2.) Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint

3.) Chest pain or discomfort

4.) Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder

5.) Shortness of breath

More tips about preventing heart disease and how to recognize symptoms of a cardiac event can be found on the American Heart Association website.

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Also, Republican State Senator Lloyd Smucker, who represents parts of Lancaster and York Counties, has proposed legislation that would allow undocumented students who came to the United States as children to pay in-state tuition rates at Pennsylvania state-owned or related universities.  Sen. Smucker's proposal is part of the Dream Act that would start the children of illegal immigrants on the path toward permanent residency if they attend college or serve in the military.

Smucker will be a guest on Thursday's program.


Larissa Bedrick, communications director for the American Heart Association, talks about how to prevent heart disease.


Republican State Senator Lloyd Smucker discusses his legislation that would allow children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state-owned or -related universities.


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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-14 09:17

    E-mail from Manuel:

    "I am currently 44. In the past 4 years, I have reduced my weight from 344 to 232 lbs. My bad cholesterol is very low, and good cholesterol is very good. I don’t smoke and exercise about 2 hours a day 4 days a week. My doctor tells me that while I am still more than a little overweight, my heart is healthier than most 35 year olds.

    My son is 22. He weighs 145 lbs. He won’t get his cholesterol checked ever since he got results of high LDL and an HDL level of 34. He smokes and eats a diet high in red meat. My doctor tells HIM that while he is fit, trim and appears healthy, that his heart is in worse health than mine.

    Can you speak to the fact that outside appearance is NOT always an indicator of inner health?"

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-14 09:29

    E-mail from Sam:

    "I always have 120/80 blood pressure at every visit. I am 40 pounds overweight, female and I am 40 years old. But lately I have a Wave pass through me like I am going to fall over. Is this heart disease?"

  • silver17554 img 2013-02-14 10:03

    Total cholesterol recommendations in this country are too high. They reduce, but not eliminate vascular disease risk. Keep your total cholesterol level below 150 and be free of heart-attack risk according to the Framingham Heart Study (an ongoing study of the residents of Framingham, MA since 1949). You could try dangerous cholesterol-lowering statin drugs or eat a whole-food, plant-based, cholesterol-free diet. No pills or procedures required!

  • horse2hound4 img 2013-02-19 19:31

    I was a bit taken aback by the inarticulate explanation of cholesterol by the guest on the show. I think that it is important for health professionals to be able to provide a coherent explanation of important concepts in accurate but non-technical terms. It would have been impossible for anyone who did not already understand the individual elements of the final cholesterol figure to make sense of the explanation proferred.