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Carrie Fisher Book Signing For 'The Princess Diarist'

Source: Paul Archuleta / Getty

A string of recent celebrity deaths serves as a stark reminder that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer around the world.

Actress Carrie Fisher died Tuesday morning at age 60 after suffering a massive heart attack days earlier aboard a flight bound for Los Angeles, a family representative confirmed. Singer George Michael died at age 53 on Christmas Day when, according to his manager, his heart “failed” him while lying peacefully in bed. Alan Thicke, “Growing Pains” actor and father of pop singer Robin Thicke, died at age 69 after suffering a heart attack while playing hockey with his youngest son on December 13.

What is heart failure?

The American Heart Association describes heart failure as a condition that occurs when this important organ, essentially a pump, cannot effectively push blood out through the arteries and circulatory system to the body’s other organs and tissues.
 Congestive heart failure, a worsening of this general condition, means blood flow from the heart through the arteries has slowed while blood returning to the heart through the veins has begun to back up and combined they cause congestion — a blood traffic jam — in the body’s tissues.
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source: CNN.com

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