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Carter's White House press secretary Jody Powell dies

Jody Powell, White House press secretary when President Jimmy Carter was in powder, died Monday of a heart attack, the Associated Press reported today. He was 65.

Powell died reportedly at his home near Cambridge on Maryland's eastern shore, Powell's friend Jack Nelson was cited as saying.

According to Nelson, Powell had been working with firewood with a helper before he collapsed while the helper was away.

Powell had had a heart attack in the past few years.

"A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a section of heart muscle becomes blocked. If the blood isn't restored quickly, the section of heart muscle becomes damaged from lack of oxygen and begins to die," the National Institutes of Health states on its website.

Heart attack is the number one killer for both men and women in the United states. According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 600,000 heart attacks and 320,000 cases of recurrent heart attacks occurred in 2008.

The average age for men to suffer a heart attack is 64.5 years compared to 70.4 for women.

Hormone replacement therapy, plastic additive bisphenol A, vitamin D deficiency, coffee, Western diet and obesity may increase risk of heart attack while having sufficient sleep, drinking tea, and Chinese red yeast rice extract may help reduce the risk.

By David Liu davidl at foodconsumer dot org