Mays’ death brings focus on heart health

June 30th, 2009 by

TAMPA – The sudden death of Pitch Man Billy Mays at the age of 50 has many people considering their own health. Mays apparently didn’t know a ticking time bomb was in his chest: preliminary autopsy results revealed a killer case of heart disease.

“In 25 to 30 percent of people who die of heart disease, sudden death is the first symptom,” said Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Dr. Vernard Adams.

At 57 years old, Harry Torgersen is only a few years older than Mays. Torgersen works out four to five times a week at Choice Fitness in Tampa, and even though he is in good shape, he says Mays’ death got his attention.

“Too young. Being that I’m older than him, yeah, I am concerned,” Torgersen said. “It’s scary. It’s real scary. I take mild blood pressure medicine, but it’s small amounts because I am here at the gym.”

FOX 13′s Dr. Jo says exercise, the right diet, and medication, if necessary, can prevent and treat damage to the heart.

“You can actually make thickening in your heart artery walls thinner by doing the right things,” she said.

Dr. Jo also says we need keep a close eye on blood pressure numbers.

“Some of the biggest studies looked at blood pressures of 130 over 85. Most of us would think that’s not very high at all. But, there was even an increased risk at 130 over 85.”

Day Carrasco brings her sons to Choice Fitness to work out. She says Mays’ sudden death reinforces what she already knew.

“Working out and keeping your heart fit is something that you have to make a life habit every day. It’s not ‘let’s go the gym once a week.’ It’s part of your life.. Three times a week,” Carrasco said.

Carrasco is almost 50. She was sick as a child, became a nurse, and committed herself to good health. She teaches her children early.

“It gets your heart healthier. You get your body in shape. I guess you can do more things in life if you get in shape,” her 12-year-old son Justice said.

The medical examiner says Mays had no history of heart disease.

“The sensation of feeling generally unwell without any specific complaining of chest pain or anything else is the most common complaint we hear in people who die suddenly of heart disease,” Dr. Adams said.

Mays leaves behind his wife and two children.

3 Responses

  1. poolboy

    we will missy you billy mays here sing out

  2. Common Sense

    I could not have said it better, poolboy.

  3. Dickdog

    Just goes to show you never know went it’s your turn !!!

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