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Tonight we go off-topic with my experience with Aneursyms and Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease (BAVD)...plus we talk about Aortic Dissection. Most people with BAVD or other connective tissue diseases walk around feeling fine, not knowing they might be carrying a ticking time bomb in their chest. Education and prevention is the answer.
Comedian John Ritter and the creator of Broadway's RENT, Jonathan Larson both died from aortic dissection. Both might have been saved if doctors had properly diagnosed them, or if they or their loved ones had known what to look for. I'm not sure if Ritter had BAVD, but whatever he had, his brother Tom was scanned and had the same problem, and had it surgically corrected. John's death saved his brother's life. It is believed that Larson had undiagnosed Marfan's Syndrome (simiar to BAVD but more serious).
Unfortunately, many people who go to their doctor or to an emergency department with an aortic dissection go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed. An estimated 2% of the population has BAVD--and that's not counting other connective tissue diseases that also cause dissection. So learning about tonight's topic could save your life, the life of a loved one, or the lives of a whole family.
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