Rush Limbaugh Rushed to Hawaiian Hospital with Chest Pains

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Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, age 58, was taken to a hospital where he was vacationing in Honolulu, HI after suffering chest pains. He is listed in serious condition, but is now “resting comfortably”. Neither Kit Carson, Limbaugh’s chief of staff, nor the hospital have issued any statements regarding the cause of the attack.

Limbaugh told emergency crews that he was taking medication for a back problem. In 2003, he had been treated for an addiction to prescription pain medication he was taking for severe back pain. Certain pain medications can raise the risk of heart attack or stroke by increasing the risk for clots in the blood stream. Other medications cause a reduced blood flow through the kidneys, raising blood pressure – the most common reason for chest pain. In addition, problems with the discs in the back, particularly the cervical disc, can irritate the nerve roots going to the chest wall and produce a chronic chest pain that is aggravated by walking and certain body positions.

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Angina pectoris is the term for chest pain or discomfort due to coronary heart disease. Insufficient blood supply to the heart, which can occur when the coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked, is called ischemia. Typical angina pain is felt as an uncomfortable pressure, fullness or squeezing in the center of the chest. Angina can occur during exercise, stress or strong emotions, or in extreme temperatures. Having angina places a person at an increased risk of heart attack.

Other speculations on the cause of the pain have been increased physical activity or significant weight loss. Mr. Limbaugh has been golfing at a local country club during his vacation, and during physical activity, blood pressure can rise and cause pain because of the reduced blood flow to the muscles. He has also been reported as losing a significant amount of weight - 90 pounds over the course of a few months. Rapid weight loss can cause gallstones, which can cause a pain that feels like a heart attack. In addition, many people eat more during a vacation than at other times, and he could suffer gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) which can cause a radiating pain across the mid and upper chest.

Chest pain can also be related to smoking. Rush Limbaugh is an avid cigar smoker, and inflammation in the lining of the lung surface can cause pain called pleurisy. Smoking also increases the heart rate, blood pressure and work load upon the heart. In addition, the concentration of carbon monoxide carried in the blood can produce chest pain.

As for now, the website for Rush Limbaugh’s radio program has issued this statement: "Rush was admitted to and is resting comfortably in a Honolulu hospital today, after suffering chest pains. Rush appreciates your prayers and well wishes, and he will keep you updated via RushLimbaugh.com."

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