Acting genes aren't the only thing Lucie Arnaz inherited from her mom, Lucille Ball. Unfortunately, she also got the genes for heart disease.
The daughter of the "I Love Lucy" star, and her husband, Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz has made heart-healthy living one of the cornerstones of the talk she gives around the country -- "Surviving Success."
Saturday she will discuss the impact of her mother's death and her childhood in a celebrity household in the keynote address at Torrance Memorial Medical Center's Second Annual Women's Heart Health Conference.
"It was a wake-up call to think that your mother, who was seemingly so healthy, would just drop," Arnaz said. Ball died from an aortic dissection in 1989 at age 77.
Aortic dissection is caused by a hereditary gene with a 50 percent chance of being passed on to one's children. Since her mother's death, Arnaz visits the doctor regularly to keep an eye out for it.
She believes both the mental and physical aspects of cardiovascular health are important.
"There's a lot we can do just by our thoughts. There's a way we land stress on ourselves," she said.
The presentation promotes balanced living as one of the best ways to maintain cardiovascular health.
"It's about taking stock of what you're trying to do in your health," she said. "I try to talk to women who are younger so they don't think 'Oh my god, I wish I'd known this.' "
Saturday's conference will include presentations and interactive workshops on heart health, including "Emergency What to do if you think you're having a heart attack," "Stroke: Every Second Counts" and "The Hormone Heart Connection: How HRT Affects Heart Health."
"With a history of heart disease in the family and its prevalence in our society, we are especially interested in seeking medical advances in cardiovascular medicine," said Richard Lundquist, a hospital benefactor who is sponsoring the conference along with his wife, Melanie.
Screenings of blood pressure, body mass index, skeletal muscle mass, resting metabolism, risk profile and blood glucose will also be available.
Additionally, a continental breakfast and boxed lunch will be served. For information call Torrance Memorial's HealthLine at 310-517-4711 or visit the medical center's Web site to make a reservation.
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