Dear Annie: I am writing to encourage your readers to take care of their cardiovascular health. September is Vascular Disease Awareness Month, and there is no better time to remember to take care of our heart and arteries.

In 1987, I woke up in intensive care after a quintuple bypass. This life-changing experience made me want to help others with cardiovascular disease. I established the Larry King Cardiac Foundation with the goal to "Save a Heart a Day."

One way you can save your own heart and arteries is by seeing your doctor and knowing key numbers. Know your cholesterol, blood pressure, weight and blood sugar level. If you are 50 or older, consider cardiovascular screening to image the inside of your arteries to see if you are at risk for stroke or heart attack. Stay active, eat right and take your medicines as prescribed, even if you are feeling well. Many vascular conditions are silent, especially high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, a fatty plaque buildup on the artery walls. Prevention is the key to maintaining health.

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States, for both men and women. Stroke, by itself, is No. 3. We can do better. Treatment for cardiovascular disease is only one part of the picture. We need to do more to keep people from getting sick in the first place. To learn more about what you can do, visit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation Web site at www.lkcf.org.

Wishing you the best in health. — Larry King Sr., The Larry King Cardiac Foundation

Dear Larry King: Thank you for sharing your story with our readers. We hope it will provide the inspiration to motivate all of us to eat right, exercise more and see a doctor regularly to monitor our cardiovascular health.

Dear Annie: We recently had a party at the lake as a send-off for our daughter who is leaving for college. We invited 60 friends and family members, including my husband's two brothers and their families.

These brothers let their children, ages 8, 6 and 4, go swimming naked. Then one of the wives took off her bikini top to nurse her baby. My daughter was completely shocked and could not sleep that night because she had been so embarrassed in front of her friends. The next day, my husband found out that both of his brothers had joined a nudist resort and this is how they act at the resort.

Right now, I don't ever want these family members to visit again. My husband insists it's a "one-time thing." Please tell me if I'm overreacting. — Angry in Michigan

Dear Michigan: We can only imagine your daughter's mortification to have her friends see the relatives au natural. They showed poor judgment and lack of consideration for others. And, at a public lake, they could have been arrested for indecent exposure. However, it's not the end of the world, and if your husband strongly reminds his brothers to confine their nudist activities to the private resorts, it may not happen again. We'd give them one more chance.

Dear Annie: I wrote the letter signed "Friends or Feelings?" about going to the prom with Britany, a special ed student, or Natasha, the girl I really like. You told me to be a stand-up guy and go with Britany because I asked her first. I just wanted to let you know that I took your advice to do the right thing. It was so much fun and turned out to be an awesome night. Plus, Natasha and I are better than ever, and she totally understood when I told her about my dilemma.

"Texas Tea" asked why the special ed kids had a separate prom. My school had two proms — one for the whole school and another just for the special ed students. At that prom, they handed out awards. The kids said it was a chance for them to hang out with each other. Thanks for everything. — Content Now

Dear Content: Thanks for letting us know how things turned out. You sound like a terrific young man.


Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. © Creators Syndicate Inc.