President of American Heart Association recovering after heart attack

The 52-year-old president of the American Heart Association was recovering this week after suffering what was described as a “minor” heart attack during a health conference in California.

John Warner, a cardiologist who is also vice president and chief executive of UT Southwestern University Hospitals in Dallas, was in stable condition after doctors inserted a stent to open an artery, the association told the Washington Post in a statement.

The heart attack occurred Monday, one day after Warner delivered a speech about his family’s longstanding battle with heart disease, at the organization’s annual five-day Scientific Sessions conference in Anaheim, Calif., the Dallas Morning News reported.

As a cardiologist, Warner routinely performs the same procedure that he underwent himself as a patient following his heart attack, the organization said.

After his heart attack, Warner said he wanted to reiterate the message he delivered in his speech — about the ongoing fight for cardiovascular health.

“After my son was born and we were introducing him to his extended family, I realized something very disturbing: There were no old men on either side of my family. None. All the branches of our family tree cut short by cardiovascular disease,” Warner said in his speech, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“John wanted to reinforce that this incident underscores the important message that he left us with in his presidential address yesterday – that much progress has been made, but much remains to be done,” Nancy Brown, the heart association’s CEO, said in a statement, the Washington Post reported.

Warner is serving a voluntary one-year term as the organization’s president since accepting the position in July, the Post reported. 

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